July 1st will see an explosion of change to the Volunteer state in the form of legal state-licensed online wagering.
The Governor of Tennessee has decided after looking over the sports gambling bill presented to him that he would allow the bill to become law, without his signature. Governor Bill Lee of Tennessee is opposed to gambling but has decided to gift TN with a potential remedy to its financial woes. The bill-set-to-become-law will be effective on July 1st, 2019.
Online sports betting sites will need to pay the state a $50,000 application fee and $750,000 annually as part of a state licensing fee to legitimize their business. TN will also be receiving 20% of the sportsbooks’ adjusted gross income. Many Tennessee lawmakers predict at least $50 million in revenue for sports gambling in the bill’s first year as law.
The state has decided to allocate tax revenue gained from legal wagering to go to TN education programs, local government projects, and gambling addiction treatment.
The bill approved of, but without a signature from Governor Lee, establishes a 9-person member commission to regulate and oversee sports gambling activities in TN under the Tennessee Lottery. This commission will be in charge of setting rules such as application deadlines and the sole use of official league data. Representative Rick Staples thinks Tennessee already loses out on gambling dollars going to out of state casinos and that legal state-based sports gambling has a chance to recapture those gambling bucks.
Both the Senate and House in Tennessee’s legislature passed the bill presented to the Governor. Therefore, there was bipartisan support for expanded gambling under SB 16.
Tennessee is not currently considering the allowance of 18+ betting, rather sports gambler must be 21 and over to gamble online at TN-licensed sportsbook sites. Nonetheless, the option to gamble and wager at 18+ casinos that have sportsbook capabilities is legal for TN residents to do.
Tennessee will use geo-targeting technology to allow bettors located in the state to access wagering on their computer, mobile browser, or a mobile application. There are no provisions in the TN sports betting bill to allow physical sportsbooks since there are no legal casino establishments to host betting within.