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Tennessee Could Be Next To Legalize Sports Betting Online

April 26, 2020

Tennessee appears to be the next US state that will legalize online sports betting. The residents of Tennessee could be using their mobile devices to wager on sports as early as July.

With many states already allowing sports bettors to wager online, Tennessee is looking to reap the benefits of legalized sports betting. There is the potential for the state to earn significant revenues from taxes paid by gaming operators. The deal may be even sweeter for Tennessee because of how the state law regulates winning bets.

Bettors will be capped at a 90% win, meaning that they can only collect 90% of a winning wager. The other 10% will be collected by the TN Education Lottery Corporation. This is referred to as a hold. In other states such as Nevada the hold is six percent. Some states like Pennsylvania and Illinois do not have a hold but impose tax rates as high as 36%.

Tennessee is also going to only offer mobile online sports betting. Unlike some other states, there will be no brick-and-mortar retail betting establishments in Tennessee. This is an attractive scenario for those who have been lobbying for nationwide legalization of online gambling. Tennessee could ultimately be seen as an experiment in how online gambling can be managed.

One of the challenges that Tennessee may face is competition with other state betting markets that allow physical shops. In Mississippi and Arkansas there are retail options for sports betting. Some Tennessee bettors may already be taking advantage of those betting opportunities. The state will need to lure them back with attractive online sports betting options.

The expected July start may also be a good thing. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the cancellation of live sporting events. Some are hopeful that things will be somewhat back to normal by July.


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