Betsson First Past the Post for Brazil 2020, but who will be Next?
by Glenn Baird - December 19, 2019
We reported a few weeks back that Scandinavian operator Betsson have acquired a 75% stake in Brazilian licensed horseracing operator Suaposta. They are the first Europeans to claim a piece of the emerging Brazilian market, something that is likely to become the major event in international gambling during 2020, but what more can we expect to see when online and retail sports gambling goes live in South America’s biggest market next year?
Waldir Marques, official of the Ministry of Economy of Brazil spoke a few months back at the Allianz Parque Stadium in Sau Paulo, in front of a audience of gambling operators at an Online Gaming Summit, stating that he expects “…the regulated online sports betting market in Brazil will be operational in six months…”
Getting in quick will be a major priority for many operators over the next few months and we are likely to see many more established European companies follow Bettson into the market. Yesterday’s summit saw the likes of Playtech , BetConstruct, Online IPS , Intralot, GLI , Sportradar , BMM ,BetCorporate , LeoVegas and Sportnco all filling up sponsorship slots.
General Director of Clarion Events Brazil, Sergio Jardim, said, “Since the first edition of the Brazilian Gaming Congress , in December 2013, we set out to provide a discussion environment for the gaming sector in this country. This year is no different, and we hope everyone will take advantage of it and have the opportunity to talk with potential partners.”
He went on to say during his welcome speech that “Networking is the key word of our meetings” and you can bet that networking will be fast and furious between the market and interested operators in the coming weeks and months.
Speaking about the future of gambling in Brazil, Fabio Augusto Luiz Pina, Secretary of Commerce and Services Development of the Ministry of Economy mentioned potential opposition to the bill:
“You have to convince those people who have legitimate reasons not to want the game. You have to show them that it is a business like any other. Some win, others lose. Jobs are generated. Some use it badly, others well. The idea is precisely to create the legal conditions necessary to mitigate the problems caused by addiction, for example. I think the online game is the ideal tool to face this path.”
Like all gambling reform there is likely to be strong opposition to the bill, with Pina making it clear that all involved need to consider both the pros and the cons for the future of Brazilian igaming.
One of the major bones of contention will be the rate of tax, which is currently looking to be between 30% and 35% of the gross annual income for all operators, something that an official at the conference stated they would try to reduce but could “not guarantee anything.”
With a population of over 200 million, Brazil is likely to become the single biggest regulated market in the world, which means Betsson’s quick move into the Amazon may just be the start of much bigger things to come.