Brazilians love soccer, and it would be strange if they were not interested in betting on soccer matches. It should not be forgotten that Brazil with its population of more than two hundred million people takes the fifth to sixth place in the world on this indicator, competing here with Pakistan. Given that such densely populated countries as the U.S., China and Pakistan do not allow gambling in their territory, the Brazilian market can be considered as one of the most promising on the planet.
It should not be forgotten that although the country is a developing country, it is developing very rapidly and more than 45% of the population have access to the Internet. And it is the latter fact is very important for the development of betting in this South American country. Understand this and the world’s leading bookmakers.
What do Brazilians bet on
In first place with a huge gap is soccer. It is not just there – it sits on the golden throne. Brazilians are obsessed with soccer, it is their religion and solace, but sometimes it is a source of unspeakable pain. There’s nothing to talk about – everyone understands it and prefers to bet on this particular sport.
An honorable second place can be given to mixed martial arts. The vast majority of players here are men. Of course – the competitions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Wale Tudo – not for the faint-hearted. In third place is basketball – the local team is considered one of the strongest in the world. That goes for both men’s and women’s teams. The former attracts significantly more bets. With such a length of beaches, as in Brazil, no wonder that the fourth place is taken by beach volleyball. In fifth place – horse racing, but betting on them is allowed officially. But more about that below.
A bit of history
Before World War II gambling was allowed in Brazil. Operating gambling houses and casinos. Soccer betting flourished, but it was not yet an organized business. After the war, gambling was banned, an exception was made only for the lottery and races. Sports betting has always been regarded with suspicion in the country, as Brazil has never been an example to others in terms of the purity of business. You don’t need to be an expert to understand how criminalized gambling has been in the country.
In the 90s, slot machines flourished in the country. Companies, who introduced them all over the country, found a loophole in the law, which allowed them to exist legally – they became sponsors of amateur teams and competitions, and that allowed them to stay in the legal field. But in general, gambling was still illegal, as was betting in particular.
What the Brazilian government could not have anticipated was the arrival of the Internet era. All bans immediately proved to be ineffective. But the government made several attempts to save the situation.
The Internet Age was coming to Brazil
First, they tried to simply outlaw all online gambling. It would seem – what could be easier? Especially for online casinos and betting, given the high crime rate in the country. And this, of course, was a ridiculous attempt – nothing came out of it, because it was simply impossible to keep track of the implementation of the law.
Then officials thought of creating a service that would ban gambling sites from everywhere infiltrating Brazil. The 2009 law shared the fate of the previous ban. In 2010 the government tried to adopt international experience and introduce a ban on transactions between bettors and international gaming companies. This move was expected to be decisive in the fight against online bookmakers’ invasion. But even this did not bring tangible results, which prompted stubborn Brazilian officials to take the next step – in 2011 they banned betting with debit and credit cards.
The measure seemed successful at first. The flow of remittances seemed to have slowed down considerably, but, and this is well known, there is no place empty. Especially in this innovative age of ours. Payment systems immediately took the vacated niche, and the most prominent player in the local market was Boleto Bancario, which among Brazilians enjoys the reputation of a universal platform for transferring payments anywhere.
The Brazilian government, which has spent several years fighting online gambling, is once again in the doldrums. It was clear that bans alone could not fix the situation. But the reins of gambling control in a country with a high crime rate could not be let go either.
What happened in the end
Now under the Brazilian sun there is not a single land-based BK with a license, but online they are a dime a dozen. The whales of the world betting joined the pond – Ladbrokes, Betfair, Unibet, William Hill, Betsson, 188Bet, just to name a few. In pursuit of customers, they went as far as to include Brazilian Real currency in the list of allowed currencies and translated their pages into Portuguese, and Unibet went even further, using a Brazilian dialect of Portuguese. What you can’t do for a market as big as Brazil’s!
So Betsson is ready to give a R$150 bonus to newcomers as long as they play. And they do. Transferring money is not a problem. I mentioned above a payment system Boleto Bancario, but there are also global payment systems which do not want to lose their piece of the pie, we are talking about Paypal, Skrill, Neteller.
The future of Brazilian betting
It’s bright and cloudless, if it stays that way. In addition, in 2015, the authorities said they were ready to fully legalize sports betting in the country. Officials decided that they’d rather tax bookmakers than just watch huge sums of money pass them by powerlessly. It has been estimated that up to a million dollars a year passes through online gambling, though no one really knows the exact numbers.
But even if betting were not allowed, gambling Brazilians would hardly be upset. After all, almost five hundred offshore bookmakers offer their services in the local market, and thirty of them have extended the functionality of their sites in Portuguese.