SBC News TipsterChat: Brazil's betting future lies in authentic connection

TipsterChat: Brazil’s betting future lies in authentic connection

For many customers, tipsters serve as trusty companions, offering expert predictions to navigate the intricacies of betting.

“What if you could see the bets made by the best bettors in the world?” reads the website of TipsterChat;  an app that makes it possible for users to connect with such experts. .

We sat down with TipsterChat CO-Executive CEO, Carlos Sánchez, ahead of his appearance at SBC Summit Rio to discuss TipsterChat’s business concept, the prevalence of WhatsApp and other chat-based tools in Brazil, privacy concerns, and how his business helps address them, the rise of AI, the subsequent increased need for human interaction, and his thoughts on regulation in Brazil.

SBC News TipsterChat: Brazil's betting future lies in authentic connection
Carlos Sánchez: Tipster Chat

SBC: Could you elaborate on the core business concept of TipsterChat? How does it resonate with and cater to the Brazilian audience, and what makes it relevant in this particular market?

Carlos Sánchez: TipsterChat is a marketplace that connects tipsters with sports bettors to buy and sell tips, providing a top-notch user experience for both parties. With our app, tipsters can earn money publishing and selling tips, monetising their audiences similar to platforms like OnlyFans and other tools for content creators. For sports bettors, TipsterChat offers the opportunity to win more bets by accessing and following the best professional tipsters. 

Brazil is one of the biggest markets for tipsters globally. According to our market research, over 2 million people follow tipsters on social media, with at least 150,000 paying for tipster content every month. 

However, the experience is often poor for both tipsters and the bettors, as most tipsters distribute their content via Telegram or WhatsApp groups, tools that might be great for other purposes, but are not optimised for tips and sports betting content creation and consumption.

With TipsterChat, both sides experience significantly enhancements, with tipsters gaining more followers and earnings, and bettors finding higher quality and more reliable tipsters.  

SBC:  Given the prevalence of WhatsApp in Brazil, what unique challenges and opportunities arise for brands looking to connect with the diverse Brazilian consumer base through chat-based communication?

CS: Indeed, WhatsApp has managed to become more than just a communication tool for most of us all around the globe, and this is no different in Brazil, nor for tipsters and sports bettors.

Changing such a deep-seated habit, like engaging with followers via WhatsApp or Telegram groups for tipsters, is certainly a challenge. However, with TipsterChat, we have managed to create an added value tool for tipsters and bettors, and the transition is proving to be very successful in Brazil. 

In the end, TipsterChat is not so different from how tipsters and their followers interact on WhatsApp or Telegram. Tipsters can create their own channels, set up group chats and and have the ability to engage in direct messaging. The great thing about TipsterChat is that it incorporates all the positive aspects of chat-based tools such as WhatsApp or Telegram, but with unique features that significantly enhance the experience for both tipsters and sports bettors.

SBC: Privacy concerns are on the rise. How can brands strike the right balance between personalized communication and respecting user privacy in the context of chat-based interactions?

CS: Privacy is a top concern for us at TipsterChat, and it’s actually one of the main unique selling points (USPs) of TipsterChat compared with other chat-based communication tools. We offer a privacy-first and safe environment for publishing and consuming sports betting related content. 

Not just in regulated markets but in every market where we have content and users, we take the privacy of our users very seriously and ensure compliance with legal requirements. In fact, many of our tipsters are influencers with very large audiences on social media, and for them, TipsterChat is the place where they know everything they publish is strictly compliant with users’ privacy regulations.

SBC: With the rapid advancement of AI and chatbots, how can brands ensure a seamless and human-like interaction that goes beyond scripted responses, fostering genuine connections with users?

CS: With the rise of AI, today we can find plenty of websites on the Internet offering sports betting content in general and tips in particular, generated by machines. However, this content lacks the uniqueness and added value that TipsterChat provides, which is highly valued by users: the ability to engage with a real person, a tipster who really knows what they are doing and can convey that unique experience to their followers.

On TipsterChat, tipsters don’t simply publish “cold” betting tips; they provide insight into why they are placing a particular bet, along with analysis, videos, audios and a variety of content that goes well beyond just tips. 

In fact, we have recently been approached by many players in the industry looking for a product like ours precisely because they recognise the need to differentiate themselves in a world where there is so much content but of so little quality. 

I believe that after this initial wave (of AI obsession) fades away, we will see a resurgence of interest in real creators and real content. 

SBC: Considering the recent regulatory updates in Brazil, how do you anticipate changes in the landscape of affiliate marketing, and what are your expectations for the upcoming SBC Summit Rio in this context?

CS: I believe, as we have seen in other markets that have adopted a regulatory framework, that in the long run, affiliate marketing is going to benefit from it. In our case, although Latin America and specifically Mexico and Brazil, are currently our biggest markets, we were originally born in Spain, a market that was already regulated a few years ago. 

Since the regulation came into effect, we have observed how many operators have looked at affiliates and products like ours to direct more of their marketing spend, especially as other channels were restricted. 

Moreover, I believe affiliate marketing allows operators to experiment with different approaches, targeting and impacting sports bettors through channels that they may not have considered testing in a non-regulated environment. 

SBC: On regulatory matters; are there any outstanding concerns related to Brazil’s sports betting regime? What should be addressed for the benefit of all stakeholders? 

CS: When it comes to regulation, I believe clarity and transparency are the main topics to be addressed. Regulation is not bad; the problem arises when regulations are too vague or open to different interpretations. 

Recently, we were preparing to adapt our platform to meet the new regulatory requirements in Brazil, which came into effect at the end of January. In some cases, the regulator wasn’t sufficiently clear on how certain aspects needed to be addressed, such as advertising guidance and the specific types of messages that need to be included and in which contexts. This lack of clarity creates uncertainty that can sometimes be even worse than having no regulation at all. 

SBC: Looking ahead, and as a member of our Affiliate Leaders community, what affiliate models, communication channels, and advertising approaches do you believe will yield the greatest success in the Brazilian market?

CS: Topics such as restrictions on advertising, especially in the digital space, are always top concerns when it comes to regulating sports betting. In that context, the value of a significant user base built organically, without too much dependency on paid acquisition channels like Google Search or social media stand out as a critical differentiator.  

In my opinion, being able to leverage unique products with a strong brand reputation, capable of attracting large sports bettors audiences based on the value and user experience they deliver, is going to make a big difference. That aligns perfectly with our vision of what TipsterChat can offer to the sports betting industry.  

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Carlos Sánchez will be one of the SBC Summit Rio speakers on the ‘Chat-Based Tools: Strategies for Deeper Connections’ panel, exploring innovative approaches and best practices for leveraging chat-based tools to forge deeper connections with punters, drive sales, and foster unwavering loyalty. Participants will gain insights into effective strategies tailored to the unique preferences and behaviors of punters, empowering international operators to capitalise on this burgeoning trend.

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