eld at one of the oldest Brazilian football stadiums, Estadio Municipal Paulo Machado de Carvalho –colloquially known as Pacaembu Stadium–, the Online Gaming Summit (OGS) Brazil opened its doors yesterday to operators, suppliers, lawmakers and officials from across the globe. The event is organized by Clarion Gaming’s local subsidiary and seeks to provide a general outlook on the sports betting market’s potential in Brazil.
“Clarion Events has always held shows at the right time. In Brazil, we have hosted the Brazilian Gaming Congress (BgC), whose first edition dates back to 2013. That event has grown and we have already organized five editions in Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and three in Sao Paulo. This is clear evidence of our commitment to the industry,” said Sergio Jardim, Managing Director of Clarion Events Brazil, at his opening speech.
The company believed that the sports betting industry needed a standalone place, although Jardim explained that when they began talks on this event, they were not aware of the fact that the Brazilian Congress would approve Medida Provisoria (MP) 846, a piece of legislation that has cleared the way for legal sport wagers in the country. He specified that OGS Brazil seeks to provide a discussion space on an appropriate, legal an productive gambling industry in Brazil, which shares its benefits with the society and the government.”
As explicitly stated by speakers and attendees during OGS’s first day, the lawmakers’ and the government-elect’s actions towards the approval of MP 846 have been positively welcomed by the industry. However, the path chosen – a provisional measure– has been questioned, as there are still two bills awaiting approval by the upper and lower chambers, respectively. This became clear at the first panel discussion: “Online and sports betting: which are the paths towards Brazil’s opening to this market of opportunities?”
"The fact that the country has regulated sports betting through a provisional measure after long years of legislative debate, both at the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate is a hard blow," said Braulio Melo, Secretary of the Chamber of Deputies, who took part in the debate with Pedro Trengrouse, attorney and professor at Fundación Getulio Vargas, and Percy Wilman, Genius Sports' advisor for Latin America.
MP 846 still awaits the president’s signature. Currently, Brazil is experiencing a transition: Jair Bolsonaro will take office as president on January 1st. Optimists believe that the proposed piece of legislation will become effective 2 years after the executive’s signature, others believe it is going to take up to 4 years. After this fact was pointed out during the panel discussion, one of the attendees asked whether operators could request a special permission before the measure becomes effective.
Pedro Trengrouse stated that “the admission of such petition is within the authority of the judicial branch.”
At the second panel discussion, “Which is the current scenario for pro-gambling political forces after the elections?", Roberto Brasil Fernandes, lawyer and Director of the Brazilian Association of State Lotteries (ABLE in Portuguese), resumed the debate and warned about the consequences of each operator requesting individual authorization and suggested they wait for the MP 846 to come into force. He was joined by legislator Evandro Roman and Rui Magalhães, Senior Director of Estoril Sol Digital (Portugal).
The first day continued with three other panels: "No copy-paste allowed: What should be done after observing other markets’ experiences?", hosted by Alessandro Valente, CEO of Super Afiliados, and Karen Sierra-Hughes, Director for LatAm and the Caribbean at GLI; “A world of opportunities: how can online and sports gambling help the economy of regulated markets?", with Rui Magalhães and international consultant Fabio Tibéria; and “Could already-proven strategies work in Brazil?”, with Priscila Carvalho, legal counselor at the Brazilian Texas Hold’em Confederation, and Joseph Levy, CEO at PMU Brazil.
OGS will hold six more conferences today.
Together with the panels, the event also offers a trade show with stands from PlayBrands, Spieldev, 1xBet, End2End, Leander, MeridianBet, Online IPS and Patagonia Entertainment.
OGS has been sponsored by GLI, BetConstruct, BetGenius, Intralot, Online IPS, 1xBet and Pay for Fun.