- Tennessee became the first online-only sports betting state, as they do not have any casinos to link with currently.
- The state has approved the highest licensing fee of any legal sports betting state, at $750,000.
- Sportsbooks will be taxed at 20%, which will be used for education programs (80%), general expenditures (15%), and problem gambling services (5%).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It has been known for a while that if a sports betting bill made its way to Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s desk, he would take no action on it.
According to Tennessee law, this meant that without his approval or his veto, the bill would become law after a 10-day waiting period (excluding Sundays).
The ten days have passed and legal Tennessee sports betting is now official, making them the fourth state in 2019 to authorize sports wagering laws.
HB 0001 gives Tennessee the first online-only industry in the country, as the state does not have any land-based casinos. Bettors would be able to create their accounts remotely.
However, each county will have the option to add retail (land-based) sportsbooks to their town. According to the bill, if a petition with at least 10% of the voter turnout from the preceding presidential election is presented, the question of adding local books to the town will be placed on the upcoming ballot. In order to pass, a simple majority is required by the voters.
Voters will also have the power to prohibit retail operators from appearing in their towns as well. This process follows the same outline laid out above, which permits sportsbooks in the district.
Even without casinos in the state, land-based sports betting would be possible in a variety of areas, as the Tennessee law does not require online operators to associate with a gambling facility – the first of its kind across the country.
State officials believe the advancement of legal sports betting will create over $50 million in taxable revenue. Part of this is expected to come from the 20% tax rate on sports betting revenue, while it will also bolster support from the $50,000 application fee and $750,000 annual licensing fee.
Under the measure, the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporate Sports Wagering Advisory Council will be formed, who will be responsible for approving licenses and setting the regulatory framework.
Already prohibited from action are those who are under 21. Additionally, the law states that wagering on collegiate prop-bets, whether team or player-based, will be prohibited.
Further restrictions are still possible, as a clause in the measure allows for sports leagues to petition to the council to have certain wagering types removed. Upon receiving this written request, the council must discuss it at their next meeting and decide whether to prohibit the wager or not.
Michael began writing as an NBA content writer and has spent time scouting college basketball for Florida State University under Leonard Hamilton and the University of Alabama under Anthony Grant. A graduate of both schools, he covers topics focused on legal sports betting bills, sports betting revenue data, tennis betting odds, and sportsbook reviews. Michael likes to play basketball, hike, and kayak when not glued to the TV watching midlevel tennis matches.