New survey reveals that one in four Brazilians have already spent money in sports betting

A recent survey conducted by media outlet Mobile Time and research platform Opinion Box has shed light on the immense popularity of sports betting apps in Brazil, as the Latin American country works on finalizing details for the regulation of its legal market.

The study, which interviewed over 2,000 smartphone users, revealed that 25% of respondents have already engaged in sports betting through mobile applications. The majority of these bettors were young males from low-income families, notes The Brazilian Report.

The survey findings indicated that among Brazilians in the higher socioeconomic classes (A and B), 22% of smartphone users had placed bets on sports betting apps. In contrast, within the lower-income strata (D and E), the participation rate rose significantly to 30%.

The survey also highlighted that 60% of users acknowledged losing more money than they had won on these platforms. Among the bettors from classes D and E, this figure increased to 65%. And as for the most popular sports betting apps in Brazil, these include Bet365, Betano, Blaze Pixbet, and Sportingbet, attracting a substantial user base within the country.

Sports betting apps were officially legalized in Brazil in 2018 through a decree issued by former President Michel Temer, positioning them as a form of national lottery. The Brazilian Congress approved the decree at the end of that year, with the law mandating the Finance Ministry to regulate the activity within four years. However, the deadline has already passed without the necessary framework being put in place.

Recognizing the potential for tax revenue, the current Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva administration is now working to expedite the regulatory process. The government sees sports betting as a means to meet primary surplus targets in the present and future years.

Nonetheless, the nascent industry and the government’s recent regulatory efforts have been overshadowed by an ongoing match-fixing scandal in Brazil’s football league. Compounding the issue, all clubs in the country’s top-flight division are sponsored by betting companies.

Earlier this month, the Justice Ministry called upon the Federal Police to investigate a match-fixing scheme in Brazilian football after prosecutors uncovered evidence of players receiving payment to deliberately incur yellow cards during matches.

The Finance Ministry had already requested clarification from eight leading Brazilian football teams about their affiliations with sports betting platforms a month prior, given the prevalence of betting companies among their main sponsors.

In April, Finance Minister Fernando Haddad estimated that taxing these platforms could generate between BRL12 billion and BRL15 billion ($2.3 to 3 billion) in annual revenues.

Simultaneously, the Brazilian football association, CBF, has been lobbying the Finance Ministry for a larger portion of the tax revenue derived from these platforms. Currently, organizations that license their brands to sports lottery games operated by state-controlled banks and entities receive 1.63% of the net revenue from bets. CBF now seeks a similar arrangement with sports betting platforms, aiming for a 4% share of their gross revenue.