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Operators form new Brazilian responsible gambling group

| By Robert Fletcher
A number of sports betting operators have joined together to establish a new responsible gambling group in Brazil as part of a campaign to regulate gambling in the country.
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The Brazilian Institute of Responsible Gaming (IBJR) features Bet365, Flutter Entertainment, Entain, Betsson Group, Betway Group, Yolo Group, Netbet Group, KTO Group and Rei do Pitaco as founding members.

The group will work across a number of sectors to learn about the industry and understand how it can be integrated into the Brazilian economy.

The process of regulating sports betting in Brazil still remains ongoing despite the country’s legislature voting in 2018 to legalise the activity. However, a series of recent match-fixing scandals have ignited new hopes that a legal path could be around the corner. 

“We want to help build a safe regulatory environment for customers, while financing the public sector and creating a sustainable operating environment for companies,” said André Gelfi, managing partner of Brazil for Betsson Group who was elected president of the IBJR.

“The issue of responsibility appears in the name of the institute precisely because this is the mainspring for all actors involved in markets that have successful regulation. In these places, sports betting is seen as a source of entertainment that helps preserve the integrity of sport. 

“And it is clear that the sector’s sensitive aspects, such as compulsive gambling and money laundering, must be addressed in a forceful, logical and responsible manner.”

Importance of regulation

Rafael Marcondes, legal director of Rei do Pitaco, who has also taken on the same role with the new group, said moving forward with regulation is hugely important for Brazil.

“The US and Brazil legalised sports betting in 2018,” he said. “While in the North American country, regulation has been happening quickly in its various states and bringing positive results, especially when it comes to tax collection, Brazil has fallen behind, allowing the proliferation of companies that are not committed to responsible gaming, which jeopardises the credibility of the market without providing minimum guarantees to consumers.”

Gelfi added: “No other country has enjoyed such a favourable environment for the construction of a successful regulation that can be an example for the world. The government can use aspects of countries that have successfully regulated and adapt them to the local reality.”

The IBJR becomes the latest industry group to form in Brazil following the launch of the new Associação Brasileira de Defesa da Integridade do Esporte (Abradie) non-profit sports integrity body earlier this month.

Involved in the creation of the association are Genius Sports, Entain, daily fantasy sports operator Rei do Pitaco, as well as law firms Bichara e Motta and Maia Yoshiyasu Advogados.

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