The Intersection of Gambling and Microentrepreneurs in Brazil


Hatched by Thati

Jun 29, 2024

4 min read


The Intersection of Gambling and Microentrepreneurs in Brazil


In recent years, Brazil has seen a surge in both online gambling and microentrepreneurs, two seemingly unrelated phenomena. However, a closer look reveals a surprising overlap between these two seemingly disparate groups. Data from a recent study conducted by Datafolha showed that a significant number of beneficiaries of the Bolsa Família, a government transfer program, spend over R$ 100 per month on sports betting websites. This percentage, which is similar to the general population, raises concerns about the potential negative impact on vulnerable individuals. Meanwhile, Brazil has also witnessed a significant rise in the number of microentrepreneurs, with over 13.2 million registered as Microempreendedores Individuais (MEIs), representing 70% of the country's businesses. This article aims to explore the commonalities between these two groups and shed light on the potential challenges and opportunities they face.

The Rise of Online Gambling:

The proliferation of online gambling platforms has made it easier than ever for individuals to place bets from the convenience of their smartphones. This accessibility has proven particularly appealing to microentrepreneurs like Dalton da Silva Gomes and Wanderson Junior. Both individuals, who work as delivery drivers, were drawn to online gambling as a means to alleviate stress and fulfill the promise of life-changing winnings. However, their experiences serve as cautionary tales, as they experienced significant financial losses. Gomes, for instance, admits to losing R$ 400 just this year, a considerable amount considering his monthly income of less than two minimum wages.

The Appeal of Online Gambling:

The allure of online gambling lies in its ability to tap into the passions and interests of its target audience. According to Dr. Daniel Spritzer, a researcher at the University Federal of Rio Grande do Sul, online gambling platforms have successfully targeted two large demographics: video game enthusiasts and sports fans. By combining elements of gaming and sports, these platforms have managed to attract a massive following. This targeting strategy has proven especially effective among the younger population, with nearly a third of individuals aged 16 to 24 admitting to having placed bets. The ease of access and the enticing promises of substantial rewards have made online gambling an attractive proposition for many, including microentrepreneurs seeking a financial boost.

The Challenges Faced by Microentrepreneurs:

While online gambling presents an opportunity for quick financial gains, it also poses significant risks to microentrepreneurs. The data on MEIs in Brazil provides valuable insights into the characteristics and challenges faced by this group. The majority of microentrepreneurs are men, and they tend to be slightly older, with an average age of 40.7 years. Additionally, a significant proportion (86.7%) of MEIs does not have a college degree, highlighting the potential vulnerability of this group to financial risks. It is worth noting that MEIs with a college education earned almost double the income of those without, emphasizing the importance of education and skills in the pursuit of financial stability.

The Intersection:

The convergence of online gambling and microentrepreneurs reveals the complex dynamics of Brazil's socioeconomic landscape. Both groups represent segments of society seeking opportunities for financial improvement, albeit through different avenues. The allure of online gambling and the potential for substantial winnings can be appealing to microentrepreneurs looking for additional income streams. However, the risks associated with gambling can undermine the financial stability that microentrepreneurs strive to achieve. Additionally, the prevalence of online gambling among vulnerable populations raises ethical concerns about the responsible marketing and regulation of these platforms.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Education and Awareness: It is crucial to prioritize financial literacy and awareness among microentrepreneurs and vulnerable individuals. By equipping them with the necessary knowledge and tools to make informed decisions, they can better navigate the potential pitfalls of online gambling and protect their financial well-being.
  • 2. Responsible Marketing and Regulation: The government and relevant authorities should implement stricter regulations and oversight of online gambling platforms. This includes monitoring advertising practices to ensure responsible marketing and protecting vulnerable individuals from potential harm.
  • 3. Diversification of Income Streams: Microentrepreneurs should focus on diversifying their sources of income to reduce reliance on high-risk activities like online gambling. Exploring alternative business opportunities and seeking professional advice can help microentrepreneurs build sustainable and resilient businesses.


The intersection of online gambling and microentrepreneurs in Brazil highlights the complexities of the country's socioeconomic landscape. While the allure of online gambling may entice microentrepreneurs seeking financial improvement, it also poses significant risks to their stability. Stricter regulation, increased awareness, and diversification of income streams are crucial steps to mitigate these risks and protect vulnerable individuals. By addressing these issues, Brazil can foster an environment that promotes responsible entrepreneurship and safeguards the financial well-being of microentrepreneurs.

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