Tennessee Becomes First Online-Only Sports-Betting State
Tennessee will become the first state offering only online and mobile sports betting, effective July 1. Governor Bill Lee (L.) said he’ll let the legislation become law without his signature. Tennessee has no casinos and there will be no retail kiosks or physical sportsbooks. Advanced technology will determine if players’ age and location.
The Tennessee legislature recently approved a bill allow online and mobile sports betting. Governor Bill Lee said he’ll let it become law without his signature. The measure has a July 1 effective date. Lee’s spokeswoman Laine Arnold said, “The governor has said he does not believe that the expansion of gambling is best, but he recognizes that many in the legislature found this to be an issue they want to explore further. He plans to let this become law without signature.” The Senate voted 19-12 for the bill and the House voted 51-40.
The measure makes Tennessee the first state to approve online-only sports betting. The state has no casinos, and there will be no retail kiosks or physical sportsbooks. Sports betting receipts will be taxed at 20 percent. The bill will use state-of-the-art technology to ensure players are age 21 or older and are located within the state’s borders. Also, the measure bans bets from those who would have conflicts or access to confidential information about athletes, and it prohibits wagers on prop bets in college sports, including betting on an individual collegiate athlete’s performance.
DraftKings tweeted its thanks to state Senator Steve Dickerson, the bill’s sponsor. DraftKings had seven registered lobbyists in Tennessee and FanDuel had nine, according to state records. DraftKings also organized an online campaign, “Let Tennessee Bet.” Dickerson said sports betting “is happening anyway. What this bill does is, however, is brings it up in the light and has provisions in it for troubled gamblers.”
State analysis showed sports betting would generate more than $50 million annually, including $40.7 million for the lottery’s education, $7.6 million for local governments and $2.5 million for problem gambling and other mental health services.