QUA 18 DE JULHO DE 2018 - 22:49hs.
Even without regulation

Sports betting market grows in Brazil near the World Cup

Acting on a grey area of the law that regulates gambling, which is from the 40s when there was no internet, sports bettings and online bookmakers are popular in the country. Attentive to the movement, the companies of the sector have been using marketing moves to attract public. In recent years, they have begun to sponsor major events, such as the Campeonato Paulista, to advertise on TV and to use famous faces, such as commentator and former player Edmundo.

According to a study by the Getulio Vargas Foundation, commissioned by the Caixa Econômica Federal in 2016, in that year alone the market traded 2 billion reais (US$ 585m). This number is set to rise with the World Cup in Russia in June and July.

Attentive to the movement, the companies of the sector have been using marketing throws to attract public. In recent years, they have begun to sponsor major events, such as the Campeonato Paulista, to advertise on TV and to use famous faces, such as commentator and former player Edmundo. They also started offering welcome bonuses of up to R$ 500 (US$145) to new players and, more dangerously, selling those bets as if they were a variable-income investment.

Although the sports market implies that it follows the same principle of the traditional stock market, this is not the case in practice. In classical trading, regulated by the Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM), the investor buys papers from a company and becomes the owner of a piece of it. From time to time, the organization is required to disclose financial statements with figures on expenses and earnings, in addition to medium and long-term planning.

In the sports bettings sector, the bettor does not obtain actions from football clubs, such as Flamengo or Corinthians. Instead, apply the money in a match. For example, he believes that Corinthians will beat Sao Paulo by 3 to 0 and deposits 500 reais in favor of this result. If he is lucky, he can earn 10 times this amount (the Ibovespa return, the main stock exchange index, was 26% in 2017). Because these sports bets are not regulated, the "investor" is vulnerable. If he plays on Brazil's own sites, even worse. Since there is no specific law, neither Procon nor the Judiciary will be able to save him.

After the trauma of the Brazilian Cup, bettor Roberto Tavares accepted the loss and learned the lesson. "I learned that sports trading requires dedication, control, persistence and experience. You can not make money consistently overnight," he says. Today he studies profitable strategies, has learned to diversify, and does not apply more than 5% of his capital. "I invest most of the income in traditional businesses. I own a publisher and became a member of a franchisor in the pet business," he says.

The sports stock market, as well as the traditional stock market, fluctuates a lot - and gains and losses occur in fraction of minutes. Therefore, all care is little. In addition to making betting simulations on specialized websites and investing small amounts to test, consumers should evaluate the platform well. Known foreign websites, from regulated countries, are safer.

"The thirteenth round of the Brazilian Championship, last year, was of improbable games and high values. Some Brazilian houses did not honor the payments and there was no one to turn to," says lawyer Pedro Trengrouse, coordinator of the course of improvement in sports management of the FGV in Rio.

To succeed in this segment is still necessary financial control and emotional stability. A rabbit's foot - or a crystal ball - is also welcome.

Even if luck is vital, savvy investors ensure that it is not the only factor to make money with the sports trading. To get 20% profit - the average profitability in a promising season - it is essential to make detailed evaluations. It takes at least 4 hours of study per day to understand the profit potential of a game. Analyzes involve hundreds of data, such as type of competition, recent results, starter (and reserve) performance, goal average, number of injuries, and the particularities of each team - whether a team is undergoing an institutional crisis and delaying the players' salary, for example, it is possible that the athletes are unmotivated and do not make an effort to win the matches.

"I analyze about 20 games a week and only make an offer when I identify a good opportunity," says Patricia Fagundes, from Cruzeiro do Sul (RS), who became interested in online betting in 2015 and is now a member of Lucre com Futebol, an information specialized website in area. Her strategy is to invest in national championships, taking advantage of as much information as possible to outline her plan. Patricia dedicates 30% of its investment capital to the modality and usually doubles the initial value applied - up to 2,000 dollars per bet.

Legalize already?

Without regulation, most of the platforms in this market host their sites overseas, in countries with a tradition in gambling, such as the United Kingdom, or in tax havens such as Curaçao. Specialists asked by VOCÊ S/A say that when someone applies money to them, it is as if they have bought a ticket to one of these places and spent the money there. As long as the gains are declared, the act itself is not illegal.

Gambling advocates claim that they have potential for collecting and would help tone a government weakened by the fiscal deficit. According to a survey of the KPMG audit, carried out at the request of the Remote Gambling Association, the tax revenue with the legalization of bets would reach 1.3 billion reals (US$380m). 

Source: GMB / VOCÊ S/A