Despite considerable unknowns about Brazil’s potential sports betting make-up, Brazilian racebook Suaposta’s CEOSu Andre Gelfi has backed Betsson AB’s early mover advances in the market.
The racebook’s CEO, who works in conjunction with Porto Alegre’s’ Rio Grandedo Sul Jockey Club and is approved by Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, commented after the development in December 2019 that saw a refinanced Betsson sanction buying a 75 percent stake in Suaposta.
Gelfi and the business partner Fernando Corrêa were originally reluctant to sell Suaposta to a foreign company, leading one of the markets developing online betting platforms. however, Gelfi has since backed Betsson’s first Brazilian investment claiming that the organisation based in Stockholm has secured an ideal position should the government of Brazil retain its timetable and legalise sports betting in 2020.
Gelfi commented: “We were looking for a partner that could complement us, providing capacity and know-how, and that at the same time shared our company philosophy and bet on the growth of the long-term group in Brazil. It was essential that we were aligned in strategy and vision.
“Whilst Betsson has a financial background and has the knowledge of online gaming, technology and product, Suaposta has a license, local track record, local payment methods and access to digital media. It is a winning combination.”
Gelfi and Corrêa are now expected to become key executives in the LatAm push of the company as a result of Betsson’s investment in Suaposta, with the CEO, in particular, underlining the established market credibility of Suaposta.
Gelfi also reported that he closely monitored developments at the SECAP lottery board, as well as providing insider perspectives on regulatory developments in Brazil.
Concluding: “Conceptually, I do not dislike the change towards the concession regime, as it seems more legally safe, but we still do not know the terms of the draft concession contract, which I consider the cornerstone of the regulation.
“It is true that changes in SECAP management and modifications to planned regulation will delay the implementation of subsequent granting permits. However, we are convinced that continuity will be given to the process, and in the meantime, we take the opportunity to refine our proposal.”
With respect to SECAP, Brazil’s Treasury Department intervened in February and requested that the body re-evaluate its licencing models to provide greater regulatory oversight of licenced operator activities.
Thereafter, SECAP relaunched its consultation on licencing policies, which could result in Brazil implementing a ‘fixed concessions model’ limiting the number of licences available to foreign and domestic players.