Published: March 23, 2024

“Brazil will be one of the largest markets worlwide and as an example in Latin America”

Ludovico Calvi, one of the biggest global experts in lotteries, gaming and sports betting, talked with GMB about his expectations regarding the Brazilian market.

Ludovico Calvi, one of the biggest global experts in lotteries, gaming and sports betting, talked with GMB about his expectations regarding the Brazilian market. The honorary president of the United Lotteries for Integrity in Sports (ULIS) says that iGaming regulation is key and that will transform Brazil into one of the biggest global players. According to him, consolidation will take place over time and could be the door to the legalization of other verticals.

GMB – How do you see the current moment of the lottery sector in Brazil and the regulation of sports betting?
Ludovico Calvi
 – I think this is a great opportunity for the Brazilian market, which can be one of the largest in the world from now on. It is important to regulate it effectively and communicate with the public, through authorities and private operators. Communication is important to give credibility to the market.

Is it important for the federal government and the states to see themselves as partners rather than competitors?
Yes, this is very important because it is a global ecosystem. The industry needs public authorities, and they need the industry, the operators. We need to develop a Brazilian model with Brazilian competencies and seek the best practices applied elsewhere in the world.

I think the conditions of the Brazilian market today are the best because there is a law passed last year and consumers who already play. It is a very important market in the sports betting vertical. It can be a model to be followed if everyone can speak and communicate with respect and competence, to create a sustainable market model, not only for Brazil but for all of Latin America.

How should the government view the bettor, who will have to pay 15% Income Tax? Can't this lead players to the grey market?
Credibility is very important, and the bettor playing at a licensed operator is a guarantee for the consumer. This needs to be communicated to them by the industry and by the authorities, whether federal regulators or state ones.

Even if the player is taxed at 15%, do you believe they will continue in the regulated market by trusting the operator?
This is a process that will move slowly and develop over time. In Italy and other European countries, there were models that started one way and then were adapted. It's about acting within the laws. I don't think this tax will continue and it will change, but the most important thing is to launch the market and open it up. Then, it will be important to sit down with the Ministry of Finance, explain what the problems and opportunities are, as well as the challenge of illegality. That's why I think the most important thing is to open the market and then deal with issues and problems, which will always exist.

In summary, is Brazil taking the right step at this moment?
Yes, definitely. It is one of the markets that will grow a lot, along with the United States, India, and Japan. I think Brazilian competencies, platforms, and technologies will help this market grow. It will be an important model for all of Latin America.

Given this moment of regulation, do you believe it could be a gateway for other verticals to be legalized in the future, such as casinos, bingo halls, and slot machine rooms?
I think so. It is important to create a culture of responsible gaming, with social responsibility and public interest. Consumer protection is very important, and this will open the door to other business verticals in the gaming market.

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