- Rep. David Hawk has proposed the Tennessee sports betting bill TN HB 48 that would direct 80% of sports betting revenue to K-12 public schools.
- TN HB 48 was unanimously supported by the Hawkins County Board of Education which is the first sign of support from local counties on the bill.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee could be one of the first states to use the majority of the revenue brought in from legal sports betting to fund K-12 public schools.
Rep. David Hawk (R-Greenville) has proposed TN HB 48 which would put 80% of Tennessee’s sports betting revenue to public schools.
“I’m going to try to take those dollars, 80% of those dollars, and put them back toward local governments for K through 12 facility building,” said Hawk. “It’s something that has not been tried before, so I’m going to try to dedicate those funds.”
This is an unprecedented political move as many states direct their sports betting revenues to the state’s general fund. This is simply because the legal sports betting industry is fairly new to the US and governments still haven’t figured out just how much money can be generated.
There are still a handful of states that have yet to legalize sports betting and Tennessee setting a precedent of directing revenue to public schools could push more states to do the same. Louisiana legalized sports betting with the intent to fund preschools, but their market has yet to launch.
Considering the entire US sports betting industry is expected to boom in the coming years it shows Tennessee sports betting is putting a premium on education.
HB 48 Draws Support From Local Officials
Locally in Tennessee, HB 48 has already drawn the support of the Hawkins Board of Education who voted unanimously to express their support for the bill. In Hawkins County, the County Commissioner chairman Rick Brewer told the TimesNews about the benefits HB 48 would provide to their schools.
“We ran some rough figures and rough estimates, but what that would mean to Hawkins County if this was passed would probably be — at that rate — about $25 per student per year,” said Brewer to the BOE. “With 6,000 students (in Hawkins County) — $150,000. We’re expecting it to grow, but we’ve got to get it through the legislature.”