Tennessee could soon join the eight American states with fully legalized sports betting. Tennessee lawmakers filed two bills in the state legislature to legalize sports betting in the Volunteer State.
Known as the ‘Sports Wagering for Stronger Schools Act’, the bill would earmark gambling tax dollars for education. Republican Senator Steve Dickerson and Democratic Representative Rick Staples are behind the bill that has bipartisan support.
Legislators want to legalize gambling because they argue the state is losing out on tax dollars when Tennessee gamblers go to other states to spend their sports betting money. The state would take a 10% tax from all sports betting companies operating in the state.
The bill would also create a sports gambling commission within the Department of Tourism. The commission could levy fines of up to $50,000 to gambling companies who do not abide by the law.
According to the Tennessean, sports gambling is estimated to generate a yearly total of $5.9 million for the state.
The proposed ‘March Madness and Fantasy Football Freedom Act’ would legalize March Madness office pools with entry fees lower than $25 and total jackpots less than $1,000. This would remove a perceived gray area in the law.
Sports gambling legalization will face some pushback as the state’s governor Bill Lee has said he is morally against legalizing sports gambling.
The United States Supreme Court ruled that each state is allowed to set their own sports gambling laws. Now eight states have legal sports betting.