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Tennessee Legalizes Online Sports Betting


The legislature of Tennessee made a decision recently to legalize online sports betting and tax those who operate these gambling sites. While gambling sites can begin to offer their services starting July 1, 2019, most expect that the real sports gambling will kick off when football season starts. 

What Does It Mean?

Under the new system, H.B. 1 will create licensing requirements, and the operators will have to pay a privilege tax. This doesn't include the annual registration fees. On May 24, Tennessee governor Bill Lee returned the bill. He didn't sign it or veto it. Nevertheless, Governor Lee said that if legislature tried to expand the gambling operations, he would veto the bill. Because of this bill, starting on July 1st, people will have the option to gamble on mobile and interactive sports. Anyone over the age of 21 will have the ability to gamble. Most economists believe that the proposal will generate an estimated $50 million in revenue annually. 

Trend Towards Legalization

Across the nation, a trend has followed where states are increasingly legalizing online gambling. Currently, nine states, including Tennessee, have made online gambling legal. While the law in Tennessee will take effect on July 1st, the state commission still needs to create rules that will implement these laws. One of the reasons Republican Governor Lee didn't sign the bill came from his own personal opposition to its expansion, even though he let it pass. He said that in government, compromise becomes a big part of the game. 

How Tennessee Differs

Tennessee has become one of the first states that has a mobile-online sports betting setting. This means that you won't have physical sportsbooks or online casinos in the state. On a philosophical level, Governor Lee has said that he opposes gambling, but he said that he made a compromise with the General Assembly of Tennessee. Governor Lee's main counterpoint against online gambling comes from the fact that people will often face gambling addiction problems. For that reason, he has reluctantly given way on the bill, but he has refused to sign it. 

To place a bet, you must reside in Tennessee. The people choose this form of gambling will do it to place sports bets on the participating websites. At the online locations, you will only be able to make bets. While it seems somewhat limited, this is a step forward to allow people to gamble online.

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