Latin America has long been a land of opportunity for the global iGaming industry, and the markets that have already entered a regulated status are enjoying fast growth, while those still emerging are seeing the incredible potential that sports betting and online casinos can bring, according to a new report released by Delasport.
Brazil, the biggest and most populous nation in Latin America, is frequently described as a sleeping giant that is about to awaken. Currently, most gambling activities are forbidden, but the status quo in Brazil has shifted, and attitudes towards gambling have changed. With sports betting being legalised (but not yet liberalised) in 2018 and new regulations just around the corner, the country has everything it needs to become a global leader in iGaming.
In our latest market report, we take a closer look at Brazil and why it is one of the industry’s most interesting prospects.
Brazil iGaming Market stats
Currently, horse races and lotteries are the only forms of gambling that are fully permitted, but these are limited in scope as there are not enough betting shops or racetracks for a population of more than 211 million people. With online gambling rules still imminent. The estimated size of the iGaming market, by KPMG, is 2.1b USD and is expected to grow to 2.6 billion by 2026.
This is supported by the digitization of Brazil, where Internet penetration stands at 75% (up 10% since 2018), with 96 cellular subscriptions per 100 people. And, with 87.2% of the population living in metropolitan areas, access to communications and Internet infrastructure is highly available.
Sports betting legislation in Brazil
Fixed-odds betting was recognized as a legitimate lottery activity by a federal law passed in 2018, and Brazil’s Ministry of Economy was given a four-year opportunity to create a competitive market for both online and land-based sports betting through a licensing or concession system.
However, time is running out as the deadline expires at the end of 2022 and, with the FIFA World Cup kicking off just a few weeks before that, officials will want to do everything they can to get some kind of licensing structure in place so as to capitalise on the new industry.
Land-based and online casino legislation in Brazil
Although Brazil’s Congress has already adopted a law allowing sports betting, it is now discussing legislation that would legalise most other types of gambling nationwide.
The Brazilian Chamber of Deputies authorised up to 31 land-based casino resorts across the country’s 27 states in a historic decision on February 23. Additional casino licences were also made available for gaming resorts in some tourist areas, as well as for riverboats and oceangoing cruise ships.
With plenty of space for large integrated resorts like those in Las Vegas in cities such as São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, along with a number of mid-sized and boutique casinos in other parts of the country, Brazil will likely become a highly attractive landscape for operators looking to enter the next big market.
Gambling taxes in Brazil
Despite sports betting becoming legal in 2018, there is currently no licensing system in place. Before the first officially legal wager can be placed, several specifics must yet be determined. The fixed-odds betting legislation that is already in existence is only a portion of the whole legal framework.
The legal framework is currently being changed, even though the new regulations have not yet been put into effect. On July 15, 2021, the wager tax rates on retail services dropped from 6% to 0.1%, and from 3% to 0.05% for internet services. For players, the 30% tax on earnings above $500 still stands.
Popular casino games in Brazil
Casino is prohibited in Brazil. However, according to research recently released by Grupo Globo, the largest media group in Brazil, 78% of the study’s participants said they play roulette in online casinos. Blackjack also received 66% of the answers, followed by 64% who said they play table games. 63% of participants chose slots, and 61% chose video poker. 50% of participants also stated they play live dealer games.
Popular sports games in Brazil
It comes of no surprise to say that the most popular sport in Brazil is football, with practically everyone in the country having some sort of connection to a national team. The largest football teams in Brazil are Corinthians from São Paulo and Flamengo from Rio de Janeiro, and both have a huge support group of loyal followers – more than 30 million fans each.
For football, there are hundreds of separate markets accessible every day that cover competitions from all around the world. All of the main European competitions, such as the Premier League and Champions League, as well as the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, Primera División in Argentina, and Copa Libertadores.
For more than a century, mixed martial arts have been hugely popular in Brazil. As a result, MMA betting is incredibly popular in the nation. This is the second most popular sport in Brazil for online wagering, behind association football.
Basketball is also popular in Brazil, with many famous Brazilian NBA players over the years including Leandro Barbosa, Nene, and Tiago Splitter, just to name a few. As such, Brazilians are likely to bet on basketball games very frequently for both domestic and international competitions.
With so many beaches, it’s not surprising that Brazilians are also big fans of Volleyball, with national volleyball teams ranked among the best in the world.
There’s no denying that Brazilian gamblers want their iGaming market to develop in the same way that the United States did back in 2018. Despite the fact that gambling is a significant source of money, the government must begin to control its activities. In doing so, it can help the economy of the nation while still regulating gambling activity.
With a populace that is passionate about sports and is more than willing to interact with gambling operators, Brazil has enormous potential for the iGaming sector. Due to the pandemic’s impact on the nation’s infrastructure and economy, adoption rates have decreased in this nation as well as many others. But once the sports betting industry becomes operational and legislative developments are pushed through, we anticipate that the country will experience a boom, very quickly.