Market Insights
SiGMA Americas 2024: here are the 4 main discussions from the event
From the efforts toward building a new betting culture, to strategic marketing campaigns and the regulating market, here are the highlights from SiGMA.
SiGMA Americas 2024: here are the 4 main discussions from the event
Mariana González Senior Marketing Analyst – PagSeguro Mariana González

Last week, from the 23rd to the 25th of April, São Paulo hosted SiGMA Americas 2024, one of the biggest and most exciting betting events of the year. With PagSeguro’s ever more focused approach to the iGaming industry, our team was there to share our expertise about strategic payment experiences for the vertical, to exchange insights with all the companies present, and, of course, to bring you all the hottest discussions and trends from SiGMA.

The number one topic at the event was, not surprisingly, the adaptation to a regulated – and still in the process of regulating – market. With Brazil’s recent new legislation for betting, and still more regulation to come, gambling operators turn their focus on keeping up with the requirements. On the other hand, it’s clear to see that, for more strategic merchants, the rules only follow what they were already doing.

Want to know more about how the iGaming industry is reacting to the new and upcoming legislation, and what other trends and discussions carried the three days of the event? Keep reading to discover the highlights of SiGMA Americas 2024:

Adaptation to a regulating market

With recent new rules for betting payments, the upcoming license to operate in Brazil, and even norms for betting publicity, the adaptation to the regulating Brazilian gambling market was definitely the most recurrent discussion at SiGMA Americas. Besides several panels specifically about that, the topic made an appearance throughout all talks, presentations, booths, and business conversations at the event.

After all, adapting to regulations is the responsibility not only of iGaming operators, but also of all companies that navigate and serve the vertical – in this case, especially payment partners, which are key for merchants to operate in Brazil in line with what the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance require.

The general understanding at SiGMA is that regulating the market is an important, necessary step for the vertical. Besides allowing for more scalable operations and a healthier business market, it also cements betting as a vertical that generates revenue and thousands of new jobs in the country.

Legislation also makes the market more competitive, helping companies mature and provide ever-better solutions to their users. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that betting regulation is still in the process of happening in Brazil, so new rules come about often – and companies should make sure to keep up with them and be able to adapt quickly.

Strategic marketing and acquisition campaigns

The betting industry moves massive marketing and media volumes, dominating publicity – especially related to sports events. In an ever-more competitive market, with betting operators going strongly after acquisition and conversion numbers, marketing campaigns arise also as strategic players amidst – you guessed it – new legislation.

With hundreds of options to choose from and an end-product that is pretty much the same no matter the operator, what makes a difference in betting is the experience around it, from the options for betting to the overall UX, to the connection each brand builds with its audience.

For betting merchants looking to create strategic marketing and acquisition campaigns, choosing the right partners for that is essential. Only with PagSeguro merchants have access to the giant media machine that is PagBank – the second biggest digital bank in Brazil, with over 30 million clients –, allowing us to create exclusive acquisition and sales campaigns in PagBank’s Game Center and reaching millions of engaged users.

Another aspect discussed at SiGMA Americas is the opportunity to diversify betting audiences, moving further than only sports – especially football – events and reaching also other events and other interests from the audience. Here, it is important to gain expertise about the target-audience and what engages them apart from sports – entertainment, cars, politics…

There is still a wide world for betting operators to explore and create more meaningful connections with their audiences, besides cementing the company’s values – an aspect that should become more and more important, especially in the regulated market and a rising betting culture, as we will dive into in the next topic.

The development of a new betting culture

One of the main challenges faced by betting operators is the lingering negative connotations associated with gambling. In Portuguese, even the common term for betting carries such connotations – games of chance are translated to “jogos de azar”, literally meaning, “games of bad luck”.

There is now an industry-wide push to change that view and to establish gambling as a legitimate form of entertainment, with users betting spare money and what they’ve won from other bets. Marketing campaigns also impact that, especially affiliate marketing, can sometimes fall into the speech of betting as a way to “make quick and easy money” in search of better campaign metrics, but iGaming operators have already observed that that is not the best way to engage with and build an audience.

Thus, establishing betting as an entertainment option for everyone, where iGaming is a way to have fun and engage with events and sports, was definitely one of the main objectives of SiGMA Americas, with more and more merchants and suppliers for the segment caring about it.

Looking for differentials in the industry’s hottest vertical

Already with around 300-500 betting operators doing business in Brazil, the segment should see a rise in the number of users in the next few years, pushed by the ongoing legislation – being regulated definitely helps cement the market as an entertainment option, as discussed above. However, it also leads the industry to become even more competitive, with adapted operators more mature and other businesses turning away from the country.

One of the views presented at SiGMA for the future of the betting industry in Brazil is that a few key merchants will dominate the national landscape, with other companies focusing more on a regionalized approach. One thing is true: to make it in the Brazilian iGaming market, finding their differential is key for betting merchants.

With recent rules also limiting monetary offers for new users onboarding on a betting app, these differentials certainly include attracting – and keeping – customers. For experts at SiGMA, giving users the possibility to participate in sports events, visit stadiums, and be allowed backstage, for example, are some of the opportunities that money can’t buy that highly attract sports aficionados.

Strategic marketing and acquisition campaigns can also make a difference with a data-focused approach, as well as engaging influencer campaigns, omnichannel strategies, and other ways of bringing company and user together. As the market grows, creating true connections with the customers can make all the difference for scalable businesses.

The operational side itself can also be strategic here. Betting merchants must be ready to handle huge transactional spikes – during sports finals, for example – and, under the new regulation, quick payouts are not always a user demand, but a legislative rule.

Here at PagSeguro, we are directly connected to the Brazilian Central Bank and fully compliant with the country’s evolving betting regulations. Through this direct connection, we also ensure Pix transactions with no intermediaries and 24/7 availability – nothing better to guarantee instant payouts for your users within the timeframe instituted by the ordinance, which requires betting payouts to be paid in under 2 hours.

With our Payment Processing solution, you can process instant payments through Pix, available 24/7 – ensured by our direct connection to Brazil’s Central Bank – with the most competitive rates you’ll find out there. More methods and more Latam countries coming soon for iGaming, since our overall coverage is of over 140 local payment methods and a total of 17 Latin American countries.

We also offer a Payout solution, which makes single and mass transfers to payees in Brazil instantaneously in their local currency (Reais), with no traditional international banking fees, through API or through our dashboard, with no need for integration. It helps you easily navigate the complexities of international payments and gives both you and your payees the best payout experience, for quick and frequent betting processes.

To keep up with the market and regulatory demands and break into Brazil’s iGaming industry, count on us – from our direct connection to Brazil’s banking system through our mother company PagBank (PAGS:NYSE) to our full compliance with Brazil’s evolving betting regulations, we are the best partner for you to enter the market the right way. Click below to talk to our expert team and get started now:

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