Home > Brand Views > Casino & games > Casino regulation > Navigating Brazil’s free bet regulations: How to attract and engage players

Navigating Brazil’s free bet regulations: How to attract and engage players

| By Alice Soule | Reading Time: 4 minutes
Navigating the current “adjustment period”, operators trying to be part of Brazil’s vibrant igaming market must achieve a licence by the end of 2024 or face strict penalty fines. But once licensed, a second hurdle of how best to attract and retain players despite a proposed banning of promotional offers awaits. For Felipe Pereira, Leadstar’s team leader, operators must think outside of the traditional box in order to succeed, with a spotlight on a strong online presence.

“In a complex market like Brazil, all operators face significant challenges overtime. Regulatory uncertainty and the intense competition have definitely been at the very top of the list.”

With igaming and online sports betting going through the legalisation process in Brazil, operators face the exciting opportunity of expanding their reach into a market that already contains the largest number of users of sports betting sites.  

But with this opportunity comes a host of unique regulatory challenges. Operators must offer an extensive self-exclusion window of up to six weeks, as well as apply facial recognition technology to ensure all bettors are over 18 years old. Igaming operators must also be based in Brazil or provide details of a Brazilian subsidiary that owns at least 20% of the company, meaning the Brazilian government can ensure all tax collected remains within the country.  

With this level of protective measures in place, it may not come as a surprise to hear whisperings of a new plan that will see the tightening of rules around the provision of all bonuses, such as free bet offers. This leads operators to navigate the challenge of attracting new players and rewarding loyalty, without the traditional fall back of promotional offers.  

Pereira explains, “We saw it all in the Brazilian market over the past few years. There have been some impressive sponsorship deals with local football clubs, lots of social media marketing, and even gamification elements added to operators’ platforms.

“But without a doubt, bonuses and promotions have been the go-to strategy for operators of all sizes and budgets.”

Regulatory complexities in Brazil

“Regulatory changes are very often unpredictable, making it difficult for operators to plan long-term strategies. But navigating the Brazilian regulatory framework has been particularly challenging for all of us. The ambiguity about restrictions has been a very central aspect of the process in Brazil.”

While ambiguity remains, operators can be confident of certain licensing expectations already in place, such as an annual 15% tax on net winnings. While this could typically be offset by revenue achieved through the likes of promotional offers, operators will have to look elsewhere to fill the gap.

Aside from these regulations that are already in place, operators will soon be faced with another challenge relating to new rules on promotional bonuses, such as free bet offers. 

With these regulatory complexities, operators must act fast to attract players in Brazil, and ultimately stay ahead of the competition despite the deficit of relying on traditional bonus offers. With promotional offers remaining an important factor for players when choosing a betting site, operators will need the guidance of experts in the field to ensure they have an instant positive impact on the Brazilian market.  

“At Leadstar, we have been assisting operators with market entry issues, advising them about reputation risks and most certainly about competitive disadvantages. Operators who are slower to adapt may find themselves in complete disarray compared to more agile competitors.”

Impact of potential free bet regulations

The impact of free bet restrictions is still an unknown, but for Pereira, operators navigating this period of regulatory evolution must strategise a long-term plan.

“We understand that such changes can impact promotional strategies and temporarily affect operators’ revenue projections. Additionally, there could be a period of adaptation as operators navigate this revised landscape.

“We believe that by leveraging our long-term strategies, our products in the Brazilian market can play a pivotal role in helping operators achieve their sign-up and retention targets despite the obstacles that might appear along the way.”

Promotional offers to attract and retain Brazilian bettors

“At the appropriate time, operators may need to adjust their marketing tactics and bonus structures to remain competitive while staying compliant with the new regulations.

“By diversifying their promotional strategies and exploring alternative incentives, operators can adapt to the legislative changes in Brazil while continuing to attract and engage players effectively.”

Providing a personalised long-term strategy to reach the unique market of Brazil is an area of expertise for Leadstar. Through the customisation of each solution, the team ensures operators are able to stand out from the crowd through unique player engagement promotions that are not reliant on traditional bonuses like free bets. For Pereira, it is this level of creativity that keeps his team the favoured igaming marketing expert for many operators on a global scale. 

“At Leadstar, we recognise that offering free bets has been a popular method for operators to attract new players. However, our focus has always been on creating promotional content that explores alternative strategies.

“That’s why we’ve developed BonusdeApostas.com, a top-tier product addressing various alternatives such as deposit bonuses, cashback offers, enhanced odds, loyalty programs, and referral offers. We believe these types of promotions will become the main tools for operators, and this shift may not diminish their appeal to Brazilian players.”

Attracting and retaining Brazilian players

Ensuring a successful launch that is speedier than competitors may be an issue for operators lacking experience in this unique market. With an estimated 462 betting sites available to Brazilian bettors, there’s no room for error if a portion of this lucrative market is to be won.   

Promotional offers aside, one key area that Pereira feels operators should focus their attention is on their search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy and ensuring their platform is easily found through simple searches of their target audience. SEO can elevate a site’s ranking, providing instant visibility and ultimately increased sign-up rates.  A skill in which Leadstar feels confident they can support an operator.  

“We’re proud to say that SEO strategy is at the heart of Leadstar. We’ve successfully helped operators achieve their targets by leveraging our strong online presence and creating localised content, which boosts their visibility across various platforms.”

Localising to the Brazilian igaming market

“When international operators enter Brazil, they come with a wide range of promotional strategies, oftentimes without a full grasp of crucial regional factors. This aspect has become the essence of the Brazilian market, and I would even venture to say that it has given local operators a significant advantage over multinational ones.”

Alongside a strong SEO strategy, Pereira notes the importance of working closely with market experts to ensure accurately localised content. Providing familiarity to players may be the key to driving engagement and even overcoming revenue deficit caused by promotional restrictions.

“We decided to invest heavily on localisation, which is a fundamental aspect for a successful operation in Brazil. Our content strategy entails producing high-quality content that engages with the local audience. Understanding player behaviour and navigating through user preferences are the pillars of our Brazilian products.

Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter