The introduction of a regulated gaming sector in Brazil has a great potential for profitability for international operators according to BtoBet, as a combination of a sports-centric culture and improved internet infrastructure present new opportunities for remote gaming.

Publishing the report ‘Brazil Betting Focus: LatAm’s largest regulated market in the making?’, the firm looked at how Brazil can become a global powerhouse for gaming.

The igaming and sportsbook platform provider predicted that the online gaming sector in Brazil could grow to $101bn in gross profits by 2024, with H2 Gambling Capital data suggesting that sports betting could account for 67% of the total market.

While the illegal sector amassed $6.4bn in GGR in 2017, as reported by the Brazilian Legal Gaming Institute (IJL), companies believe that operations will be even more profitable once the legal framework is established in the country.

Building on this move towards regulation, the report added: “Market experts are hopeful that an open licensing structure will be adopted. However whilst this seemed to be the case in the first public discussions led by the Brazilian government, this scenario has changed.

“In fact the third draft of the regulation has seen the Brazilian government shift its stance from an authorization-based licensed system (open licensing structure where there are no fixed number of licences) to a concession based system, which might in itself include a bidding process.”

Luiz Felipe Maia, a lawyer at Brazilian firm FYMSA Advogados, emphasized that a concession based system wouldn’t be of benefit to anyone. He said: “By limiting the number of licences, we will only be creating excuses for unlicensed operators to continue operating offshore.

“Regulation must create the necessary conditions to attract all operators willing to invest in our country and to comply with our rules, which will set the highest standards based on international best practices.”

Despite a slight dip in overall mobile phone usage, improvements to the country’s internet infrastructure and growing traffic via mobile devices present new opportunities for growth.

The report pointed out that while mobile connections penetration stands at 97%, which is slightly lower than the median for the region, internet connectivity is ‘in line with the average penetration for the region’.

A barrier to the growth of online sports betting in Brazil could be the acceptance of digital payment methods, the report found, however the adaptation and trust of these methods is accelerating.

While credit card payments are the most widely used transaction mode by Brazilians (71%), the next position is occupied by cash (21%), while bank transfers or e-wallets account for 4% of payments.