The Tennessee Senate has approved a revamped bill that would legalise sports betting in the state, with the House of Representatives now set to consider the bill before it can move forward to Governor Bill Lee for signature.
The Tennessee Senate has approved a revamped bill that would legalise sports betting in the state, with the House of Representatives now set to consider the bill before it can move forward to Governor Bill Lee for signature. A previous version of the bill (HB0001) that passed the House last week has now been substituted for SB0016. The Senate made a number of amendments to the bill before passing it by a vote of 20-12, meaning that it must once again go to a house House vote before it can progress to the Governor’s desk. The previous bill was focused on an online-only market, but the revamped version would permit wagering via betting kiosks, in addition to interactive wagering. Among the three major amendments to SB0016 is SA0288, which relates to how much operators will pay in terms of sports betting licence fees and taxes. Operators will have to pay $50,000 (£38,290/€44,530) to apply for a licence in Tennessee and $750,000 to actually secure the licence. Those that succeed in doing so will pay tax at a rate of 20%, down from the 22.5% that the House had proposed. Amendment SA0422 sets out how professional sports leagues would have the ability to request that betting or certain types of wagering on select events be prohibited. Such a request can only be made if there is clear reason that betting would be “contrary to public policy, unfair to consumers, or affects the integrity of a particular sport or the sports betting industry”. Meanwhile, amendment SA0432 states that licensed operators in Tennessee would only be permitted to use official data from sports leagues when offering betting services. The only exception to this rule would be if a licensee could prove the governing body of a sport or sports league, organisation, or association could not provide a feed of official league data for live betting “in accordance with commercially reasonable terms, as determined by the board”. SB0016 does not yet have a date for a House reading. The current Tennessee legislative session had been due to run until April 26, but remains in progress.