Pay4Fun: “Sports betting is growing a lot in Brazil and we need to regulate its expansion”

During his participation in BiS SiGMA Americas, the CEO and Co-Founder of Pay4Fun, Leonardo Baptista, spoke to Yogonet in an exclusive interview. In conversation, the executive talked about the company’s successful performance at the expo, its growth plans in Mexico, Chile, and Peru, and highlighted the potential of the Brazilian market if, as expected, the regulation of sports betting is achieved this year, and the opening of land-based casinos is enabled as of 2024.

What was the experience like for Pay4Fun at BiS SIGMA Americas?

The outcome was a surprise because although we were eager to exhibit in Sao Paulo, we did not expect to have such a positive result as the one we had “playing at home.”

We are Brazilian and we were preparing for an event to welcome our clients and entertain them, since today we operate locally with more than 400 betting sites. But on top of that, we did not expect to close so much new business and open so many opportunities. We left BiS SiGMA with more than 30 new potential deals, which represents 30 new operations that trust in our service, which for us makes this trade show an incredible event, according to the size of the market. It was very useful for us.

The company has a very strong presence in Brazil, where you are currently the market leader, but what is happening in the rest of the Latin American countries? How are you positioning yourselves there and which are the markets you are most interested in penetrating?

We had a plan for this year, in which we planned to start expanding our operations in the Mexican, Peruvian, and Chilean markets, but we delayed this decision for a while due to regulations in Brazil.

Locally, we now have four different suppliers of Pix, a payment method that today handles 90% of the Brazilian market. That is why we changed our strategy and decided to wait until the end of the year, by which time Play4Fun will have its own Pix, we are integrating it directly with the Brazilian Central Bank and, once this happens, we will launch into new markets at the beginning of next year.

We will start, as I mentioned, with Mexico, Chile, and Peru, where we want to be operational by January 2024. We will start the new year with the beginning of these operations.

If you had to summarize what makes Pay4Fun today a different and superior product for an online market that is growing throughout the region, what would you highlight?

Just as the market has grown with new operator sites, we must also recognize that the offer of payment methods has grown throughout the region. In the case of Brazil, in particular, when this issue exploded, companies multiplied by offering Pix as an alternative, so we not only offered more payment methods, but we decided to be a synonym of security for each operator that worked with us.

I believe that this is the key to Pay4Fun, since our company is the only Brazilian payment institution that operates in our field, through authorization and is regulated by the Brazilian Central Bank. Today anyone can offer Pix to operators, and start a price battle, but here we are not only talking about a cost issue but also about sleeping peacefully at night. Pay4Fun has more than 100 collaborators in its team, who provide 24/7 support, and a license from the Central Bank that supports our work, and that is a big difference that allowed us to become market leaders locally. 

Talking about the Brazilian market at the regulatory level, do you think that this year the expected regulation of sports betting will be achieved, and an advance in the opening of casinos and bingos in the future?

I believe that this will happen soon, and before the end of this year, we will be able to consider the regulation of sports betting as a certainty. And I believe that it will be so because it is a decision that comes to set clear rules in the market, to order it.

Sports betting is growing a lot and we need to regulate its growth, in addition to addressing central issues such as responsible gaming, avoiding the manipulation of results, and generating contributions to the State.

And as for the other point, I believe that in 2024 we could have the approval of Law 442, the Casino Law, and all the other verticals, and I believe that there, in the union of these two markets (the physical and the online) is where the future of Brazil as a great power in the sector lies.