It looks like sports betting will have a future in The Volunteer State. The House of Representatives passed the House Bill 1 or the Tennessee Bookie Bill. However, there was a debate as some members are concerned about the effects of problem gambling.
House Bill 1 will allow online sports betting in the state. However, lawmakers made an amendment removing the provision that allows sports wagering in retail locations. The bill passed on a vote of 58-37.
Representative Andy Holt told industry reporters that the bill can lead to a gambling addiction epidemic in the state. Also, Holt said he had seen family members who can’t feed their children because they blew their money away in gambling.
Tennessee Bookie Bill
The House Bill 1 got the approval of the Senate Finance committee Wednesday and will be up for voting in the Senate floor. Tax revenue generated from sports betting will fund local government initiatives and education programs.
The best pay per head bookie estimates that sports betting taxes in the state will be around $50 million a year. According to the bill, people under 21 years old can’t bet on sportsbooks.
The biggest opponent of the sports betting bill is Governor Bill Lee. In fact, he was against the expansion of gambling in the state. However, House speaker Glen Casada told bookie pay per head providers that he doesn’t expect the governor to veto the bill once the Senate approved it.
Casada pointed out that residents of the state access online sports betting sites that are not regulated. That means the state doesn’t receive any taxes on the wagers. With the passing of the sports betting law, the state will have some oversight into the activity. In addition, the state will get additional income from the taxes.
Tennessee has a lot to gain with the legalization of sports betting. At present, Arkansas, Georgia, Alabama, and Kentucky don’t have legal online betting. However, the law states that a person must be inside state lines before one can place bets on websites.