Categories: Gambling Laws

Tennessee Sports Betting Bill Being Overhauled

A bill in Tennessee that would legalize sports gambling is being heavily worked over with some assistance from previously opposed parties. What started out as a promising beginning to 2019 for sports betting legislation, has turned into a chaotic legal scene of “too many chefs in the kitchen.” And, now, Governor Lee has changed his mind and is working with state leaders on a more comprehensive bill.

Governor Bill Lee

Governor Lee expressed some opposition to sports gambling while on the campaign trail, but as of now, his office is working with lawmakers and talking to supporters in order to improve the bill. This past week, an email was sent to News 2 from the Lee administration, discussing the governor’s position on sports betting:

“Governor Lee continues to believe that gambling expansion is not in the best interest of our state. The Lee administration will often work with lawmaker to improve a bill that impacts the state’s economic and social health, even if it’s not something we plan to support.”

House Bill 0001 Details

House Sponsor Rick Staples introduced House Bill 0001 on March 13th in an attempt to keep Tennessee residents and visitors from leaving the state to bet on sports. Right now they’re working on some amendments for the bill: how much tax the state will charge, how it will be regulated, and how extensive the activity to be are what’s being looked at.

Rep. Staples shared details about the inner workings of this collaboration to rework the current bill:

“We are trying to capture dollars instead of dollars leaving the state. You’ll always have people illegally betting. We are trying to make it legal and most importantly, get dollars for locals to take advantage of for their needs.”

Tax revenue from legal sports betting would go towards things like infrastructure, colleges, education, and more. Representative Rick Staples hopes to have the proposed changes in amendment form by next week.

Sports Betting in the United States

In May 2018 the Supreme court overturned a federal ban on sports betting that had been in place since 1992. This opened up the possibility for each state to legalize and profit from sports gambling. Since the decision, seven states have legalized sports betting and opened fully operational sportsbooks: Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia, New Mexico, and Mississippi. New York and Arkansas both have legislation that they’ve approved, but sportsbook operations are still in the works. More than 20 states have sports gambling legislation being worked on at present.

Tennessee has been actively discussing sports betting since last summer. This includes where to allow sports betting, who will run it, proposed taxes, and possibly expanding the number of gambling entities within the state. As of now, Tennessee continues to inch closer to the reality of legal sports betting, but will need to get everyone on board to ensure this happens in 2019. Otherwise, it could be at least another year before it happens.

Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site.

Recent Posts

  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry
  • Sports

Colorado Sports Betting Bill Moves Forward

Lawmakers in Colorado are closer to approving and regulating sports betting. This week, the Colorado sports betting bill has been… Read More

April 23, 2019 10:42 pm
  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

China’s Gambling Laws Are Getting Even Stranger

China is known for having some of the most restrictive gambling laws in the world. This week, the government here… Read More

April 23, 2019 3:29 pm
  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

Two Sports Betting Bills Going to Governor’s Desk in Montana

By the end of the week, before the Easter holiday weekend, Montana’s Senate approved SB 330, making that two sports… Read More

April 22, 2019 4:23 pm
  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

ESSA Wants New Zealand’s Online Gaming Market to Open

Despite having a huge number of gambling fans, New Zealand has yet to regulate its internet gaming market. ESSA, the… Read More

April 18, 2019 10:53 pm
  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

Pennsylvania Sports Betting Revenue Finally Increases

Pennsylvania legalized sports betting more than 16 months ago. Until very recently, this industry has been hugely unsuccessful. Pennsylvania sports… Read More

April 18, 2019 4:20 pm
  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

Indiana Sports Gambling Bill Will Not Include Online Betting

Indiana legislators are still working on the details of S 552, a sports betting bill that has passed another legislative… Read More

April 18, 2019 4:11 pm