Global operators join forces to put RG at top of Brazil’s regulated sports betting agenda
Sports betting operators from around the globe have joined forces to create the Brazilian Institute of Responsible Gaming (IBJR).
The group said it will work towards the aim of promoting a fair and sustainable market for sports betting in Brazil.
Who’s involved in the IBJR?
Founding members of the association include bet365, Betsson, Betway, Entain, Flutter Entertainment, KTO Group, Netbet Group, Rei do Pitaco and Yolo Group, who collectively operate in more than 100 countries.
Leading the group as its president is André Gelfi, currently the managing partner for Brazil at Betsson Group.
IBJR President André Gelfi: “No other country has enjoyed such a favourable environment for the construction of a successful regulation that can be an example for the world. The government can use aspects of countries that have successfully regulated and adapt them to the local reality.”
Gelfi is an experienced professional in the online gambling sector, having previously worked as the MD for Brazil at Codere for more than 15 years, as well as heading up Brazil-focused Codere spin-off brand, Suaposta, as its managing partner between 2018 and 2019.
Regulated Brazilian betting finally becoming a reality
The Brazilian government is set to introduce regulated sports betting later in 2023, after a long and protracted legislative process stretching back several years.
Last week, the country’s finance minister Fernando Haddad promised to finally regulate the sector, in order to generate additional tax revenue currently being lost to offshore operators.
Fixed-odds sports betting was legalised in the country in 2018, but until now, no formal regulatory regime has been forthcoming.
The IBJR said it is eager to collaborate with the public and private sector to ensure that the industry is integrated harmoniously into the Brazilian economy, while creating a safe regulatory environment for customers and financing the public sector.
IBJR President Gelfi’s comments
“The IBJR’s mission is to collaborate with all sectors of society that want to learn more about the industry and understand how it can be harmoniously integrated into the Brazilian economy, as it has in other countries,” said Gelfi.
“We want to help build a safe regulatory environment for customers, while financing the public sector and creating a sustainable operating environment for companies.”
The IBJR intends to lean on the experience of its founding companies in regulated markets to define appropriate guidelines for responsible gambling in Brazil, he added.
“The issue of responsibility appears in the name of the institute precisely because this is the main motivation for all operators involved in markets that have successful regulation.
“In these places, sports betting is seen as a source of entertainment that helps preserve the integrity of sport. And it is clear that the sector’s sensitive aspects, such as compulsive gambling and money laundering, must be addressed in a forceful, logical, and responsible manner,” added Gelfi.
Time to play catch-up
Meanwhile Rafael Marcondes, the IBJR’s legal director, stressed the importance of moving forward with regulation, citing positive results in the US where regulation has progressed rapidly and led to the collection of large tax contributions.
Brazil has fallen behind its international peers in this sense, Marcondes added, “allowing the proliferation of companies that are not committed to responsible gaming, which jeopardises the credibility of the market without providing minimum guarantees to consumers.”
IBJR legal director Rafael Marcondes: “Brazil has fallen behind, allowing the proliferation of companies that are not committed to responsible gaming, which jeopardises the credibility of the market without providing minimum guarantees to consumers.”
The IBJR added that while it considers Brazil’s continental size to be a challenge for regulation, it should not be seen as a constraint.
The Institute said it is eager to contribute technical solutions based on its founding members’ experiences and global expertise, and that “clear and demanding compliance rules will be fundamental for the development of the local market”.
Gelfi concluded: “No other country has enjoyed such a favourable environment for the construction of a successful regulation that can be an example for the world. The government can use aspects of countries that have successfully regulated and adapt them to the local reality.”