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Bringing Together the World of Online Gambling and the Selecao

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Bringing Together the World of Online Gambling and the Selecao

Ever since the first pools coupon was filled out, football and gambling have gone together, and by now we've reached the point where it's hard to imagine watching a match on TV without being bombarded by ads for online betting sites.

But even so, it's hard to associate the great Brazil sides of past and present with the Premier League's thriving betting scene.

When you watch Neymar jinking his way through defences or Marcelo blitzing defences on the left wing, it all seems a long way from betting on Stoke City to beat Burnley.

However, the worlds of gambling and the Selecao are a closer fit than you might think. Some of Brazil's biggest stars are forging links with casino, poker and betting sites.

Opening a new frontier in the world of gambling

One of the reasons that Brazil has been shielded form the betting boom is political. For the past 50 years, gambling has been officially banned by the Brazilian government.

Despite this, Brazilians have always loved to gamble. You can see this on almost any street corner, where "Jogo do Bicho" agents take cash for one of the biggest quasi-official lotteries in the world.

For the past few years, legislators have discussed liberalising Brazil's gambling laws, and even though opposition is fierce, the feeling is that big changes are inevitable, in the form of laws making sports betting and online casinos completely legal. 

Is it surprising that in a country where football is so popular, some of the country's biggest stars are becoming associated with the casino industry?

Neymar: mixing outrageous skill with a poker face

In fact, you might say that Brazilian footballers have been in the vanguard of the movement to liberalise gambling in the massive country. Take Neymar, for instance. Undisputedly Brazil's current footballing hero, Neymar Jr has featured in adverts for online cards site PokerStars (ended mid-2017) alongside the actor Aaron Paul and fellow football god Cristiano Ronaldo.

Neymar was following in the footsteps of the Brazilian Ronaldo, who has a well-documented love of poker. At a 2014 Pokerstars event in London, he famously lost a hand against tennis player Rafa Nadal, leading to a $50,000 loss and a stint at the basin washing dishes.

And then there's Denilson, another 90s star, who has fronted ads for 888Poker.
So there's definitely a strong link between the stars of the pitch and poker table.

In the future if Brazil's laws change, which seems inevitable, my guess is that more players will mix goals and gambling. New upcoming casino companies such as Dreamz.com, which you can read more about here, or perhaps the giant PokerStars who already shown an interest in Brazil football stars, could very well be a place where we will see the stars of Selecao as a front figure: Coutinho, Neymar, Marcelo or perhaps new Man U midfielder Fred? Time will tell! But one thing is for sure, online gambling and football will stay close together the coming years ahead, in one way or another!


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