Brazil’s attitude towards sports betting is an own goal, says Metric CEO

Brazil’s attitude towards sports betting is an own goal, says Metric CEO

Friday, May 27, 2016 Totally Gaming
Peter Bertilsson said citizens that bet are currently not protected in Brazil

Brazilians can only benefit from the legalisation and regulation of online sports betting, according to Peter Bertilsson, chief executive of Metric Gaming.

The vast South American country has for years rejected the expansion of gambling, with President Dilma Rousseff as recently as last year refusing to sign a bill that would have allowed fixed-odds sports betting.

However, Bertilsson told TotallyGaming.com that a large illegal betting industry thrives nonetheless in the country, with millions giving money to companies without the protections that would be in place under a regulated market. He added that the legalisation of betting would also provide crucial funds to pay for public spending in a country whose state and federal governments have racked up huge debts.  

“Brazil’s antiquated gambling laws are depriving the country of a fortune in tax dollars and huge investments in its economy, not to mention basic player protections against an unregulated market,” said Bertilsson, whose Las Vegas-based company is a B2B supplier of platforms and services to sportsbooks across the world.

“These legal prohibitions also rob Brazilians of best-of-breed sportsbook entertainment and innovations. Although plenty of online sportsbook operators situated outside Brazil are targeting the Brazilian market, the criminalisation of sports betting there prevents the most well-established, licensed operators from entering."

Bertilsson said that the popularity of football means Brazil could be an important market for operators. He added that a high rate of smartphone penetration is also key, with a recent Statista report suggesting that ownership would grow from 31 per cent of mobile users in 2014 to 55 per cent by 2019.

“Brazil boasts one of the best national football teams in the world and hosts a population north of 200 million with major smartphone penetration,” Bertilsson said.

“At present the most advanced mobile-optimised, personalised betting platforms and products are largely unavailable to Brazilians, whereas a sound regulatory and licensing system in Brazil would quickly attract the world’s best sportsbooks – and most importantly their competition for business – which would in turn pay extraordinary dividends for Brazilian consumers.”

TotallyGaming.com says: “Governments throughout the world are still failing to grasp that online betting is here to stay, whether they legalise it or not. As long as protections are in place, Bertilsson is correct to say that sports betting should be a win-win for the public and governments.”

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