Tennessee Sports Gambling Bill Would Only Allow for Online Betting
A few weeks ago, state leaders discussed how they were going to overhaul their current proposed sports betting bill. It didn’t take long for news to leak out that not only did they accomplish this goal, but Tennesse could possibly become the only state to allow just online betting and not sports wagering at local gambling establishments.
The Amended Bill
This week, Rick Staples introduced an amendment to HB 0001, also known as the Tennessee Sports Gaming Act, which drastically changed the bill’s language. Instead of physical betting locations like shops and kiosks as originally worded, the bill would now require all sports gambling to be carried out online.
If passed, this would be the first state in the United States to legalize only online and mobile sports betting to residents and visitors of Tennessee. Staples has also proposed the state establish the Tennessee Gaming Commission to oversee sports betting in the state.
Proposed Tax Revenue
As for tax revenue, license-holders will pay a rate of 10 percent tax on adjusted gross income. Licenses will cost $7,500 each. 85 percent of it will go to the Lottery for Education account and local governments will get the remaining. By comparison, Tennessee’s proposed tax rate is on par with other states, but their licensing fees are significantly lower.
Representative Staples thinks Tennessee will raise $21.6 million in the first year and will double that amount in the second. However, not everyone agrees with Staples: state Representative Rush Bricken asked why some of the revenue won’t go towards gambling addiction in the state.
Support for Sports Betting
Andy Levinson, the VP of Tournament Administration for the PGA, hopes the state keeps an open and modern mind when it comes to what is offered. For example, he wants “in-play” betting, which is when a bet is placed after a game or competition has started. Eventually, hole-by-hole, where a shot might land, or a shot-by-shot might all be possibly types of bets.
FanDuel Aiming for a Spot in TN
The bill would permit up to 10 companies to take up the operator business, and FanDuel wants to be one of those 10. FanDuel has opened sportsbooks in every state that’s legalized sports betting since last May when SCOTUS overturned PASPA.
The State Committee is due to meet for discussions on this bill again on Tuesday, March 26th. There’s a chance this bill moves forward after this meeting, which could influence other states still working on sports betting frameworks within their borders.
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