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DraftKings and MGM Find New Gaming Frontier in Brazil


Some of the sports betting world’s biggest players have reportedly turned their sights on Brazil.

Companies such as DraftKings and MGM Resorts International are exploring entry into Latin America’s largest economy and its new, and regulated, online gambling market, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday (April 3).

The report noted that Brazil — with a population of around 200 million — has emerged as one of the world’s top 10 betting markets since it began relaxing its online gambling laws in 2018. The country could be set for further growth in that space, thanks to a 2023 law establishing the regulatory framework to allow fixed-odds sports betting and virtual online gaming services.

More than 130 companies have pre-registered interest in a Brazilian license, according to the country’s Finance Ministry, including MGM and DraftKings.

“We are excited to see Brazil pass online gaming legislation, and as one of over 100 companies who submitted non-binding expressions of interest, we are continuing to explore the potential of expanding into Brazil in the future,” Griffin Finan, senior vice president and deputy general counsel for DraftKings, said in an email statement to Bloomberg.

The report also noted that MGM confirmed its designs for Brazil in February during an earnings call, with CEO Bill Hornbuckle saying the casino was weighing a joint venture partnership in the South American country.

“Brazil is going to put Internet gaming in play for both casino and sports betting, and we plan to be there when that launches,” Hornbuckle said on the call.

The news comes one week after MGM, DraftKings and five other of America’s largest sportsbook companies launched the Responsible Online Gaming Association (ROGA), a trade group designed to reduce problem gambling.

“Many of America’s largest legal mobile gaming operators will be establishing a framework that helps to aid in responsible gaming education and awareness,” said ROGA Executive Director Jennifer Shatley. “Together, our members will work alongside researchers, experts, regulators and stakeholders to promote responsible online gaming and maximize our efforts to support additional responsible gaming education and awareness.”

Meanwhile, research by PYMNTS Intelligence has shown that uptick in online gambling has come with a common complaint among players: the slow payout of winnings.

“Online sportsbooks, in particular, have faced over 2,400 complaints regarding delayed payouts, the report revealed, with such delays not only frustrating players but also discouraging them from returning to the same platform,” PYMNTS wrote in January.