Online Gambling In Tennessee Passes Into Law

  • Tennessee Governor Bill Lee lets sports betting pass into law without signing the bill.
  • The Tennessee bill passed the Senate with a 19-12 vote.
  • Online Tennessee sports betting is for those 21 years of age or older.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Governor Bill Lee declined on signing an online sports betting bill, letting it pass into law by default. This makes Tennessee the only state that has passed an online-only sports betting law. The rest of the states with legal sports betting have brick and mortar locations, or both.

Getting TN SB 16 passed through the Tennessee legislature, however, was a tough road. The bill edged by the Senate with a 19-12 vote and the House with a 58-37 vote. The bill included language prohibiting land-based sportsbooks, so there will only be online sports gambling in the state for the time being.

Iowa, Montana, and Indiana are other states that are close to making a final call on legal sports betting. One of which is awaiting a signature. Governor Bill Lee does not approve of the expansion of gambling but seems to have a slight change of heart for the good of the state.

The tax revenue from online sports betting is expected to bring in a possible $50 million per year. While Governor Lee does not condone sports gambling expansion, he is not against the activity.

“The governor has said he does not believe that the expansion of gambling is best, but he recognizes that many in the legislature found this to be an issue they want to explore further,” said Laine Arnold, Gov. Lee’s press secretary.

Now that the governor has allowed the topic of online sports gambling and the gambling expansion to be explored further with its passing into law, the state can use the tax revenue to benefit the area.

A portion of proceeds from online sports gambling each year will be used for education and local government. Funds will also be allocated to mental health programs. The online tax revenue will fund gambling addiction treatment initiatives for the state.

Sports betting in Tennessee is prohibited for those under 21. The bill also prohibits athletes, sportsbook operators, and team owners from casting sports bets.

Tennessee joins eight other states with legal sports gambling, though it is the first to abide by an Internet-only model. It is unknown what other issues may arise from the newly legalized online sports gambling, but tax revenue from the activity will boost the state's resources now and into the foreseeable future.

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