Last Tuesday, a piece of legislation that sets up online sports gambling in the state of Tennessee passed the Senate, a move that has the potential or bringing in up to $50 million in online gaming every year. This will definitely be a welcome move especially for the state which has for a long time stayed away from any gambling expansion plans. Things are looking quite good for the bill as it is also set to become a law without the governor’s signature.
The Details of the Bill
The Tennessee Senate voted 19-12 in favor of the bill that seeks to establish a nine-person gambling commission that will be tasked with being an advisory panel to the Tennessee Lottery Corporation which will, in turn, will be responsible for regulating online, interactive and mobile gaming. In addition to that, the corporation will be overseeing the licensing process of gaming companies. Keeping that in mind, the online casino operators will be required to pay a $750,000 fee to operate after which they will be required to set up geo-fencing in order to ensure that gambling activities and revenue remain within the state. On top of the licensing fees, the licensed sports betting operators would also be required to pay a 20 percent tax privilege tax.
As mentioned earlier, Bill Lee, the state’s governor, has plans to let the legislation become law without his signature. While the governor has not been a fan of the gambling expansion bill, he did say in passing that his administration worked with the lawmakers in order to tailor the bill and make it more palatable to him.
“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,” Lee spokeswoman Laine Arnold said in a statement Tuesday.
Governor Lee did consider a veto but the main drawback here would be the fact that the lawmakers would need only the same majority votes required to pass a bill to override the veto. It seems like letting everything play out and having online-only sports betting go live in the state was the best option. Now, the legislation is set to take effect beginning July 1.
Naturally, there are already sports betting operators that have set their sights on the new gaming market and one of them happens to be DraftKings. As a matter of fact, the daily fantasy sports provider which has been spreading its wings in the gaming industry was one of the parties that rallied up public support for the bill.