Tennessee sports betting bill faces online-only amendment

20 March 2019

A bill that would legalise sports betting in Tennessee has been amended so that only online sports wagering would be permitted in the state.

Introduced in January by Representative Rick Staples, HB0001 originally set out plans to open shops similar to sportsbooks in Tennessee, in addition to internet betting services.

However, after discussion this week in the House’s State Committee, Staples has opted to remove land-based sportsbooks from the bill and instead focus on an online-only market. Wagers would also be permitted via an approved mobile platform.

Should the bill come into law, Tennessee would become the first state in the US to offer only internet sports betting to consumers. New Jersey is currently the only state to have both legal land-based and online sports wagering service available.

The Tennessee Sports Gaming Act also includes measures that would see licence-holders pay tax at a rate of 10% on adjusted gross income.

Licences to offer legal sports betting in Tennessee would cost operators $7,500 (£5,680/€6,600). A separate licence would be required for each sportsbook in the state.

Consumers would need to be at least 21 years old to place a sports bet and also be physically located inside the state’s boundaries.

Staples has also proposed establishing a new Tennessee Gaming Commission to supervise compliance with sports wagering laws in the state.

The House’s State Committee is due to discuss the bill again on March 26.

Image: Famartin