Only recently, Tennessee congressman Rick Staples introduced a sport betting bill under which sports betting operations will become legal in the state. Earlier this month, congressman Staples filed HB0001 bill, which has already become more popular as the “Tennessee Sports Gaming Act”.
In case that the proposed bill is turned into law, the state gambling sector will be expanded with the new form of gambling, but that is not all. A Tennessee gaming commission is planned to be established to work in collaboration with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) in order to regulate the new form of gambling.
Then, local communities will have to file a petition to the local government, with no less than 10% of state voters calling for a vote on legalizing sports betting in the region. If this happens, sports betting is to be put on the next election ballot for the community to vote on. In case that the bill is given the green light by local communities and is then approved by legislators, it has been considered as a reliable source of income for the state.
Under the proposed bill, a monthly 10% tax on the gross income will be imposed on all sports betting operation license holders. It also became clear that 40% of the taxes collected would be transferred to the state general fund. Other 30% will be redirected to local community and tech colleges, while the remaining 30% would be redirected to the local governments. The latter, on the other hand, would use 50% of the received tax money for their education systems and various infrastructure projects.
Legal Sports Betting Would Bring Additional Revenue to the State
At the time he filed the Tennessee Sports Gaming Act, congressman Staples explained that sports betting would be set up in bars and restaurants that are willing “to attach themselves” to a sports betting provider but they will be required to give a chunk of the revenue to the state.
Since the very beginning, the sponsor of the HB0001 bill highlighted the fact that a large part of the possible sports betting revenue would be redirected to local governments to fund schools and infrastructure projects.
The proposed sports betting bill was also backed by Tennessee State Senator Brian Kelsey. In a Twitter post, he shared that a constitutional amendment will not be necessarily required for the legislation to pass, but legislative attorneys were still making a research.
Based on your comments today, I plan to introduce legislation to allow sports betting in TN with the tax proceeds to go to K-12 education. It appears this will not require a constitutional amendment, but the legislative attorneys are still researching it. https://t.co/Eqxpt7N0dg
— Brian Kelsey (@BrianKelsey) May 14, 2018
Of course, the sports betting expansion of the state has also faced some opposition. Governor-elect Bill Lee said he was against the legalization sports betting operation throughout his campaign. According to him, gambling services have already shown that the lowest-income citizens in Tennessee would be the ones who would be most affected by the expansion, considering the situation with the existing lottery operations in the state.