Game day is sacred to most Brazilians. Television on, it's time to settle in the armchair, open a cold beer and ... keep phone in their hands. More than that, 1 in 4 people who enjoy football are part of the group that carry out sports betting in the country. Marcos Mantovani is one of them. 43 years old, married, father of two children, he usually bet since this market opened its doors in the country. "The combination of gambling, betting and cell phone changed my habit," he says.
In the beginning, many of these 'amateur' gamblers used to place their sports betting on PCs. With the transformation of the internet in Brazil, and also of mobile devices, this consumption has changed. According to a survey by the company Casa de Apostas, 95% of people use cell phones when placing bets.
According to analysis by SEMrush, paid software widely used in digital marketing and recognized as the best SEO package according to the US Search Awards 2019, MENA Search Awards 2019 and SEMY Awards 2019, the Latin American market was included in recent analysis carried out in August this year - the last one so far, bringing an estimate that, due to the traffic of the month evaluated, the number of gamblers on the web exceeds 30 million in Brazil alone.
The Latin American market was also included in the SEMrush analysis. In Brazil, bet365.com led the ranking with 94,845,151 users, an increase of 11.9% since July. Ojogodobicho.com continues with 45,769,926, a significant drop of 43% in relation to the 81.2 million mark in July. Right behind them, sportingbet.com reached third place with 11.71, beating freebitco.in, which had a 45% drop to 6.4 million users. The website deunopostehoje.com was in sixth place with 2,817,553 visits.
"It has become almost a worldwide practice, people playing with their cell phone while watching television. Social networks obviously take up most of this time, but the consumption of sports betting has also increased because of that. When watching football matches or any other sport, we bring together the main habits of the Brazilian: entertainment, the second screen, which is the mobile device, interactivity, and emotion. One thing is linked to another," analyzes Hans Schleier, marketing director at Casa de Apostas.
According to a recent survey by the Getúlio Vargas Foundation of São Paulo (FGV-SP), Brazil has two digital devices per inhabitant. Among the devices, the use of smartphones is what stands out the most: according to the survey, there are 230 million active cell phones in the country. There was a 10 million increase in the number of active smartphones compared to 2018.
"The practice of betting has become easy and feasible, just a click away. In the past people were more prejudiced and found it difficult to navigate through these portals. Today, just two taps are enough for you to have the experience of watching a game and betting simultaneously," completes Hans.
Bruno Shayani, 28, says that his greatest fun is watching football games and betting. In addition to the ease of making this mechanism using the mobile device, some other factors contributed to make him more adept at this practice. "The experience offered, from betting options to values, and especially the security that these sites provide, making them reliable, made me become a constant bettor. In addition to all this, by winning a bet, you can redeem the awards very quickly," he explains.
This type of sport culture, which has been present in the North American and Canadian market for many decades, gained strength in Brazil more recently and seems to have come to stay. One of the main specialists in this market, Bruno Maia, CEO of 14, a strategic content agency, recently wrote the book 'Innovation is the New Marketing', one of which chapters deals precisely with the subject of Statistics Entertainment.
He understands that the integration of this sports betting market with broadcast players, in partnership or sponsorship relationships, multiply the possibilities of narratives to retain the audience during a game and change the broadcaster's relations both with the event and with the generation of new exploration rights that have not yet been detected or valued.
"I always cite the case of a great friend who tried to convince his girlfriend to watch the Superbowl with him, without complaining and, preferably, interested. She argued that she did not understand that game, which was very boring and would not be able to spend hours in that game. He persistently, hours before the game, invited her to place a series of small US$ 5 bets on a website, trying to predict the number of times such as "how many tweets Trump would post during the match", or if "the singer of the hymn will be wearing gloves? If so, what color?", or "what would be the first song of the halftime show" ... Amid so many micronarratives, the girl stayed connected the whole game and found a particular and parallel experience throughout that super event," tells Maia.
In Brazil, about 450 betting sites from outside the country operate without any type of taxation. In order to control this, in December 2018, the Federal Government signed Law 13.756 / 2018, authorizing the Ministry of Finance to create rules for the licensing of the exploration of fixed-rate sports betting in Brazil.
According to the Government's own portal, the modality would be an exclusive public service of the Union, whose commercial exploitation would occur throughout the national territory, in any commercial distribution channels, physical and also in virtual media. The forecast in the country was that this legislation would enter into force in 2019, it was postponed until 2020 and, now, it is with the expectation that it will happen as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic is overcome.
One of the points that the executives of this market of bookmakers' sites request is that, when the regulation happens, it is similar to regulations of already mature markets like Denmark and the United Kingdom, which are a balance in the calculation base for the collection of these taxes and criminalization in the operation of bookmakers that did not have a license. For sports law lawyer Eduardo Carlezzo, a specialist in this niche, regulation in Brazil needs to be accelerated.
"At some point it is very likely that we have all 20 Serie A clubs with some kind of commercial agreement with sports betting companies. However, this market will really take off when the companies are operating legally in the country, and for this the federal government it still must open a license granting process, something that is extremely delayed," he explains.