Legislation allowing online sports betting in Tennessee passed a House committee Tuesday. Although the bill has many amendments, lawmakers hope it will bring more revenue to the state. Also, they hope to stop betting revenue from leaking to Arkansas and Mississippi.
House Minority Leader Karen Camper told gambling news sites that they saw it as an opportunity to improve the state’s economy. Governor Bill Lee remains against the expanding of gambling. However, he said he will look at the bill once it reaches his desk.
In addition, the governor said that his administration is working with the lawmakers to make the bill beneficial for all. Also, he said he will not sign the bill if he doesn’t think it’s acceptable. At present, the bill is moving forward in the House. Industry observers hope the bill will allow pay per head bookie operators in the state.
TN Online Sports Betting Bill
House Bill 1 or the Online Sports Betting Bill took various meetings in the State Committee before the committee voted on it Tuesday. They sent it to the Government Operations Committee to consider the rules.
Representative Rick Staples amended the bill to remove retail betting locations. Instead, the bill will only allow online gambling with ten licenses issued by the Tennessee Lottery. Operators will pay $750,000 fee and 20 percent tax to get the right to offer online sports betting in the state.
Funds raised from online sports betting will go to various programs of the state. 80 percent of the fund will be for the Lottery scholarship programs, 15 percent for local education and infrastructure initiatives, and five percent to the state’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.
According to the bill, the sports betting software can’t offer wagers on individual achievements, such as the total number of yards completed by a running back. In addition, lawmakers inserted a gambling treatment amendment to prevent addiction.