During the meeting of Senate leaders with Minister Fernando Haddad (Finance) this Thursday (30), the leader of the governing bloc made up of PT, PSD and PSB in the Senate, Eliziane Gama (PSD-MA), expressed her disapproval of regarding the regulation and taxation of sports betting in Brazil. The parliamentarian, who is an ally of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT), criticized the measure.
During the presentation of the main points of the new tax rule by the minister, the senator expressed her concern regarding the effects of the regulation of online games, one of the strategies adopted by the economic team to increase revenue.
“We need to see if this collection, which, on the one hand, generates new revenue, does not, on the other hand, end up creating even greater expenses for the Union. In several parts of the world where gambling has been legalized, health systems are facing serious problems with dependent users, not to mention the chain of shady businesses that accompany this activity”, said Eliziane.
The senator opposes both sports betting and gambling, which are separate issues. Initially, the government will present a proposal to regulate online sports betting. At the same time, the Chamber of Deputies approved a bill that legalizes gambling, which still needs to be voted on by the Senate.
The Evangelical Parliamentary Front and its relationship with the current government
Eliziane Gama is one of the few congresswomen allied with President Lula who recently joined the Evangelical Parliamentary Front in the Senate, which is led by Senator Carlos Viana (Podemos-MG).
Evangelical congressmen who support President Lula’s government stand out in the Chamber and Senate for taking different positions from their conservative colleagues from the Evangelical Parliamentary Front. This group seeks to prevent the bench from being used as a platform for opposition to the current president.
However, specific themes, such as the regulation of sports betting, the legalization of gambling and changes in laws related to abortion, are not well regarded by the group, regardless of their ideological position.
An ‘old’ divergence
The idea of regulating gaming is not a topic that only causes disagreements in the current government. During the term as Minister of Jair Bolsonaro (PL), current Senator Damares Alves (Republicanos-DF) disagreed with the then Minister of Tourism, Marcelo Álvaro Antônio, on the subject during a ministerial meeting on April 22, 2020, which was made by decision of the Federal Supreme Court.
At the time, Marcelo suggested the implementation of resorts integrated with casinos as a strategy to attract investment. However, Damares reacted by stating that it would be a “deal with the devil”.