Pay4Fun becomes the first payment institution operating in the betting segment to receive authorization from the Central Bank
Created in 2018, the company, which reached BRL 500 million in financial transactions in July 2021, believes in the expansion of the online betting market. In the year in which the regulation of sports betting is under debate – the regulation of Law 13.756/2018 that made sports betting legal in Brazil is awaiting presidential sanction – the leading digital payment platform in the online gaming segment, Pay4Fun, ends to receive authorization from the Central Bank to operate as a financial payment institution in this segment. For Leonardo Baptista, CEO of the company, this is yet another confirmation of the solidity and security of the Brazilian online gaming industry.
Founded just five years ago by Baptista, owner of an experienced curriculum in the segment of digital games and security of online sites, Pay4Fun stands out as a virtual payment platform specialized in the segment of online entertainment. “We were born with a focus on the online betting segment and today, of the more than 500,000 customers, 90% of them are online players”, says Baptista, who also highlights the institution’s strict compliance: “Our performance has as main guidelines transparency and security, which is why we have developed strict compliance and digital security criteria to prevent money laundering. Every operation within Pay4Fun goes through verification of the origin and destination of the money transacted”.
The company works with the main entertainment players, with more than 300 sites integrated in the online betting segment, such as 1XBet, 888, Betfair, Betsson, KTO, Pinnacle, Pokerstars, among other giants in the sector, and has in its portfolio innovative products – the Pay4Fun Store and the Pay4Fun Card Mastercard, the Pay4Fun App and the Pay4Fun GO (direct payment gateway, with PIX, bank transfers and boleto). In 2021, Pay4Fun handled more than BRL 1.1 billion and the expectation for 2022 is to reach the BRL 3 billion milestone. “Our idea is to expand with new partner sites, since in Brazil there are more than 500 sites, not counting the ones that should arrive after the regulation of the law”, says Baptista.
Online betting market: challenges and projections
The point that connects the company’s expansion expectations towards the online betting market is precisely the profile of its clientele in Brazil, which, like the company, awaits the regulation of betting sites to enjoy quality, trust and technology. According to a survey by Sports Marketing, in 2020 the Brazilian betting market reached a volume of BRL 7 billion. According to the company, the sector grew BRL 5 billion in two years. A survey by Google Trends Brazil shows that the search for words such as; “aposta” (bet in english), “bet” and “bet+aposta” more than doubled in January 2021 compared to the previous year. In addition to the pandemic, which has kept the population in isolation and contributed to the search for online entertainment, another factor that has driven the increase in demand is related to the greater visibility of sports betting in advertising. Currently, the betting market has surpassed the financial sector and is the biggest sponsor of Brazilian football clubs, being responsible for moving 30% of the profit from online betting in the year 2020, according to a study by Grand View Research. About 34 of the top 40 clubs in Brazil are sponsored by betting sites.
“There is no doubt that the sports betting segment will continue to grow. How much it will grow, with what quality and in what way, will depend, above all, on the process of evolution of regulation in the spaces of power, an issue that has caused much speculation and expectations”, says Leonardo Baptista.
It is estimated that online betting, which currently moves around BRL 60 billion a year, will reach BRL 100 billion annually as soon as it is regulated, formalizing thousands of unregulated gambling jobs and creating more than 100,000 vacancies, according to a study by the Instituto do Jogo Legal – IJL.
“Even without government regulation, the sports betting market has shown enormous strength in meeting the expectation of demand from Brazilians for this modality. The sector organized itself with competence to advance, even without the presence of the State. The fact that Pay4Fun – a genuinely Brazilian company – has obtained recognition from the main players and the Central Bank is historic, as we have always known about the conflicting relationship between the Government and gaming operations. In addition, the authorization of Bacen guarantees legal certainty for users who use the platform as a daily means of payment for their bets”, commented the president of the IJL, Magnho José.