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NEXT.io has partnered up with ENV Media to publish a brand new content series focused on regulation in emerging markets. First up, we take a look at Brazil.

Brazilian online gambling is set to become the biggest regulated market globally, and it already is a solid reality for industry stakeholders. Recognising the benefits of proper channelisation – for businesses just as much as for consumers – is key to long-term sustainable growth.

In that context, a recent ENV Media study shines the spotlight on player attitudes and public expectations surrounding the newly minted gambling regulations. Having overcome years-long resistance from conservative legislators, the Brazilian public seems to appreciate the new era for online casinos and sports betting enthusiasts.

A field survey reveals an 84% approval rate among real-money gamers for operator licensing in Brazil. More than a fleeting sentiment post-market liberalisation, this looks like a solid endorsement of the government’s efforts toward industry transparency and consumer safety.

The players’ angle on regulation

The prospect of enacting wide-scope legislation on real-money games has been a beacon of hope for a market craving legitimacy and fairness. Provisions for fixed-odds betting were extended onto most physical and virtual gaming verticals, with the exception of land-based casinos.

Valuing the commitment to a safe and economically viable gaming ecosystem, 92% of players threw their weight behind the need for regulatory clarity. There is also public consensus (87%) on the importance of having online gaming companies registered, licensed and taxed in Brazil.

What really stands out in the player responses is the keen perception of the economic and social implications of having a well-regulated market. The majority recognise the potential of the iGaming industry to boost Brazil’s finances through taxation revenues and job creation.

The research piece provides estimates of $4.5bn in annual tax proceeds from regulated gaming, emphatically without taking into account supporting business activity and employment growth.

A combined 76% believe in the industry’s capacity to support national welfare, while more than half of the respondents would approve of even higher gaming levies. Still, a quarter (24%) are aware that excessively high taxation would deter investors, hinting at the delicate balance between protecting the public interest and avoiding stifling innovation.

Beyond the monetary aspects

The study also sheds light on the critical issue of consumer protection, intended above all as gaming risk mitigation and integrity of game outcomes (i.e., match-fixing). A big portion of the player pool admits to not being able to recognise safe gaming websites or not knowing how to protect their personal information (39% in both cases).

But what really provides rich layers to the debate are the socio-cultural dynamics at play. Player responses map out the current public awareness of gambling regulations and the sentiment toward lobbies, pressure groups and religious entities, often more powerful than legislators or consumer protection agencies.

A new chapter awaits

From the economic boon of regulated gambling to the pivotal role of consumer protection, market analysts are now able to track Brazil’s progress on the path to market maturity.

The nuanced understanding of the legal landscape shows the importance of public education and awareness campaigns. These insights are valuable for both public authorities and industry stakeholders, enabling them to guide their consumers through the transition.

The Brazilian public has welcomed gaming legislation with enthusiasm. That needs to be coupled with pragmatic steps to adopting efficient self-regulation and enabling market transparency. The ball is in the iGaming industry’s court. 

ENV Media, founded in 2018, excels in digital marketing and data-driven research for the iGaming industry. It focuses on market visibility for key partnerships in Latin America and other emerging markets.

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