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Tennessee lawmakers propose new sports betting bills

US gambling news

THE state of Tennessee is taking steps towards the legalisation of sports betting.

Local lawmakers claim the Tennessee Sports Gaming Act will allow the state to capitalise on new revenue streams.

“Billions of dollars leave the state of Tennessee to our neighbouring states with casino and table gambling,” said Representative Rick Staples.

That bill may have some company when the Tennessee state government meets on January 8.

Senator Brian Kelsey is working on legislation that would focus the distribution of gaming revenue and restrict the land-based locations of sportsbook operators.

“So, this is a new stream of revenue that the federal government is allowing the states to take advantage of,” he said.

“I am in the process of drafting a sports betting bill that would generate revenue specifically for preK-12 education.

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“I think it is important to have local control over where sports betting takes place, so my bill would allow City Councils in Memphis and the other three large cities to designate areas for physical sports betting locations subject to a vote by the people.”

There is some opposition to the idea of a legalised gambling industry, according to Dr Ted Bender of Turning Point.

“It’ll be interesting to see, if this bill passes, if that increases the gambling problem in this country, or whether it just stays the same and the money is rerouted to different places,” he said.

Tennessee is but one of several US states to consider the legalisation of sports betting since the Supreme Court overturned the PASPA laws last year.

Eight states already have fully regulated gaming and wagering industries, while Arkansas and New York are soon to join the list.