New Bill Puts Tennessee Sports Betting Into The Spotlight

Tennessee Sports Betting Bill Proposed

The residents of Tennessee might soon be able to enjoy betting on their favorite teams and sports if a new proposed bill is passed and becomes law in 2019.

This new bill, titled “Tennessee Sports Gaming Act” is going to allow and enable local governments to have the final say on betting in their respective jurisdiction. As per the bill’s sponsor, Rick Staples, one of the state representatives; the new bill has major potential to introduce new ways of income generated in the state.

Representative Staples went ahead and made it clear that billions of dollars have been leaving Tennessee to neighboring states through table and casino gambling. Not to mention the billions of dollars in sports betting income that is going offshore and into the black market. He added that the new bill is the federal government’s way of giving the state governments a new way of sourcing their revenue.

Over time, this bill has been gaining significantly massive support. On the other side, Senator Brian Kelsey is said to be drafting his version of the same.

He said that he was in the event of drafting a sports betting bill aimed at generating revenue for the preK-12 education precisely. He also added that having local control over the general sports betting in Tennessee is pretty important and his bill is aimed at actualizing this. It should enable and allow city councils from the four large cities in the state including Memphis to designate areas and equipment for physical wagering on sports. However, this is entirely subject to the people’s vote. In turn, the local government will have the authority and responsibility of collecting some revenue from these betting locations. He promised to discuss the issue in detail with his fellow legislators once he returned back to Nashville the proceeding week.

Under the legislation proposed by Representative Staples, a Tennessee gaming commission is going to be founded and established. This commission will in turn work with TBI (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation) in ensuring that all the sports betting locations created are properly administered and regulated.

The local communities and residents would then be left with the responsibility of petitioning their local administration with nothing less than 10% of the voters for a say on betting legalization in their municipality.

The passing of the bill will definitely create and develop quite a significant revenue source for both state and local programs. On top of that, the bill is going to impose a 1/10 tax on the overall or gross income of an individual with a betting license. This tax will be paid on a monthly basis.

Below is a breakdown of where the revenue would be used in:

  • 30% of the total revenue collected will go to the local government
  • 30% will go to technical and community colleges
  • 40% will go to the state’s general fund


50% of the local government’s share will be pumped into the school system. The remaining half will be invested in local infrastructure projects among others.

Both bills are expected to be discussed on the 8th of January when the legislature converges again.

However, not everyone supports the idea. One, Dr. Ted Bender working with Turning Point and Addiction Campuses is optimistic, yet cautious about the bill.

Mr. Bender says that he hopes that the administration is taking gambling addiction into account and has a sum of money allocated to help and treat people suffering from the said addiction.

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