Speaker Interview: Thomas Carvalhães
iGB Affiliate London Conference Producer, Conor Mulheir, caught up with Thomas Carvalhães, LV Group Country Manager - Brazil and LatAm, LeoVegas Gaming Group, for a chat about the future of the Brazilian igaming market and the role affiliates will play in its development.
Hi Thomas, thanks for agreeing to speak with me today! Firstly, what do you think are some of the key things operators and affiliates should know before attempting to enter the Brazilian market?
The key word is regionalization or localization! It is very important to have in mind that content, promotions and all marketing initiatives have to be relevant and engaging to the Brazilian audience. Throughout the years I have seen many international operators approaching Brazil and Latin America with the same business and marketing strategies. This can lead to fatal consequences. Brazil is a country with continental proportions, therefore there are many different cultural approaches and perspectives to the very same subject and this needs to be taken in consideration as well. It is almost as if every state in Brazil were an individual country.
How soon do you think we will see the effects of sports betting regulations in Brazil?
This really depends on the political agenda as well. Once the Brazilian authorities, operators, the betting community and all parts involved reach a common stand, it should be a very fast and swift process. I would say once regulation is approved we could see the effects in less than three months.
Do you expect to see restrictions for affiliates as part of these regulations?
I wouldn’t necessarily call it restrictions, however I am expecting there to be specific guidelines from an advertising and marketing perspective at a first stage post-regulation.
As Brazilian punters are less familiar with sports betting than their European counterparts, what part can affiliates play in educating them on the intricacies of online gaming?
Very good question. Most Brazilians are not used to betting yet. Although known as a soccer-fanatic country, the role of the affiliate community in this scenario will be key in showing for instance: The different ways an odd can be displayed; all different markets one can bet upon etc. Both affiliates and operators must have the educational factor in their marketing plans for Brazil as well.
What challenges will the industry need to overcome in 2020 and beyond for the Brazilian igaming market to reach its full potential?
As it currently stands, the main challenge remains to get the authorities to really understand and approve the regulation of sports betting. It will most likely be a phased approach when it comes to all other product verticals and this will pose a few extra challenges when it comes to payments processing, illegal operators, possibly unfair competition etc. The fact that we have a brand new government who seems to be willing to speed up the regulation process is good; however, there is much more to it. It is of vital importance to have a holistic understanding of the potential of Brazil as a market. A comprehensive SWOT analysis done by someone who understands and has experience in the Brazilian igaming market is a good start.
Thanks, Thomas! Brazil is certainly one of the most exciting markets out there at the moment. I’m looking forward to learning more at your panel discussion at iGB Affiliate London, ‘This Time Next Year, We’ll Be Brazilianaires!’, taking place on Thursday 6th February from 14:00-14:30.