A comprehensive report published by the Brazilian site Apostahub shows the significant growth that this market has experienced in recent years, while also providing specific statistical data from different sources for the first months of 2022.
Although online gambling is not yet regulated in the country, this fact has not prevented foreign bookmakers from expanding their business in Brazil. "The Federal Government has said on several occasions that the regulation will be ready before the World Cup and has shared a first draft of the decree on sports betting; the regulation is expected to be finalized by the end of the first half of 2022," stated Ricardo Feijó, a lawyer specializing in gambling regulation.
Among the countries in the region, Brazil offers the greatest potential for online sports betting and casino games due to the size of its population and the strong Internet penetration in society.
According to data from Agencia Brasil, 152 million Brazilians currently have access to the Internet, which corresponds to 81% of the population. Other factors that positions the Brazilian market with a great potential for gambling are:
As a result, a number of betting site brands are investing a lot of money in advertising in the local market. They take the most prominent spaces on soccer team jerseys, as well as in stadiums and esports events, in addition to YouTube programs, podcasts, and other forms of communication, becoming increasingly popular with the public.
Based on a study of more than 50 betting websites, among the more than 400 operating in Brazil, the most popular brands searched for on Google in 2022 were the following:
The Brazilian betting market recorded transactions of R$ 7 billion in 2020 ($1,325.5 million), and it is expected to reach R$ 12 billion ($2,272.2 million) by 2023.
Google Trends data shows that searches for the term "bookmakers" reached an all-time high in the last six months, being an increasing trend. The same is true for "sports betting."
The demand for new sportsbooks is also high, as users are constantly looking for welcome bonuses to play with, which are usually only offered to new players.
Data from the SimilarWeb tool show that Betano's site in Brazil has registered approximately 18 million visits in the last three months. This growth in organic traffic can be directly linked to the increase in the number of users of the platform.
The large majority of websites operating in Brazil from outside the country offer sports betting options and online casino games. However, sports betting has a much higher search volume. If we analyze the graph below, we can see that both sports betting and online casinos show an upward trend in terms of search volume.
If we compare the volume between these two terms, "sports betting" holds more than twice as much interest for the public as "online casino." This difference is understandable, given that the preferred betting modality for Brazilians is soccer.
The term "online casino" is less popular in comparison to "sports betting" and "bookmakers." However, in more specific terms, searches for sites offering casino games are extremely popular, and roulette is one of the most popular games among gamblers.
The Blaze brand has reached a peak in Google searches in recent months, after being promoted by Youtubers, Influencers, and Podcasts, including the well-known Flow Podcast. Its most famous category is casino games, but the site also offers sports betting on the most popular sports, such as soccer and basketball.
The state of Sergipe leads the search for the term "online casinos," with 28% of searches in Brazil. Tocantins is the strongest in the search for "bookmakers," with 72% of searches, and Rondônia wins in the term "sports betting," with 66%.
The north and northeast regions of the country are the ones with the highest demand for the top five bookmakers in the ranking (Bet365, Sportingbet, Betano, Betfair, and Pixbet). And some of the Brazilian states that most search for these brands are: Amazonas, Acre, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Maranhão, and Tocantins.
There are still many uncertainties surrounding the legalization of sports betting and gambling in Brazil. However, the market is getting stronger, and bookmakers have solidified their position in the Brazilian market through the sponsorship of soccer clubs.
"The Brazilian sports betting market is huge and very attractive. For this reason, even though they are based outside the country, bookmakers are looking at Brazil and investing a lot in advertising in our country. As there is still no regulation, there is also no ban on advertising on these sites, which has boosted even more the sponsorship of bookmakers," explains Ricardo Feijó, lawyer and co-founder of Aposta Hub. Today, almost all Serie A soccer teams are sponsored by bookmakers.
There are also already some specific iGaming events, such as the BiS (Brazilian iGaming Summit), which held its second edition in June, brings together several market players, as well as payment methods companies, lawyers in the area, and media companies.
Sports betting is also being developed by state lotteries, as they are considered a type of lottery in Brazil. Some states are even authorizing companies to operate sports betting, such as the states of Maranhão and São Paulo.
There is still a lot of political debate ahead before the regulation is finalized and sports betting is legalized. And while the regulation is not completed, bookmakers operate in a gray area of the law and continue with their operations in headquarters outside Brazil, such as Curaçao and Malta.
In the current scenario, betting on gambling sites hosted abroad is not considered a criminal offense, which means that Brazilians can gamble online without taking risks on these sites. But to ensure total safety, it is recommended to always check if the site has licenses to operate in your home country and to keep up to date with gambling regulations.