Tennessee Sports Betting Could See Changes
The Tennessee sports betting industry just launched on November 1, 2020, but there could already be some significant changes coming to the industry.
Tennessee sports betting has been a major topic of discussion in the state legislature as lawmakers are not happy with several issues.
Even though the state has posted some big sports betting numbers since the launch, things have not gone as smoothly as they have in other states. Some lawmakers believe that it is the fault of the Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL), which currently oversees sports betting.
House Bill 1267 is back on the schedule for discussion this week after being put aside since it was introduced in February. The House State Government Committee will be taking a close look at this bill before deciding if it should be sent to the House floor for discussion and a vote.
According to this bill, the power of overseeing the sports betting industry would be removed from the TEL and placed with the Sports Wagering Advisory Council. Currently, the TEL and the Sports Wagering Advisory Committee work together to help run the industry, but lawmakers don’t want the Board of Directors of the TEL involved.
This likely stems from a recent decision made by the TEL that temporarily suspended the license of Action 24/7 Sportsbook. That decision was challenged in court, and an injunction was filed, basically stripping away the power from the TEL.
The Sports Wagering Advisory Council comprises nine members, with business people, law enforcement officers, and lawyers being a part of the group. This bill didn’t seem to have a ton of momentum when it was first introduced, but getting on the House floor could allow it to gain some momentum.
Other Bills Targeting Action 24/7
Two other bills will also be discussed this week, and those seek to change the laws defining how players can fund their sports betting accounts. Even though there isn’t one sportsbook listed in the language of the bills, it is clear that Action 24/7 is once again the primary target.
Action 24/7 has a sister company, Advance Financial, and lawmakers are concerned about the connection. It is possible for bettors to take out a loan from Advance Financial and then use that money to fund their sports betting accounts.
There is one bill in both the Senate and House currently on the table, and both would accomplish the same thing if passed. Senate Bill 1029 and House Bill 824 will be heard at some point in the coming days, and each bill will officially be voted on this month.
SB 1029 is set to be read in the Senate State and Local Government Committee, and this chamber of the legislature appears to be taking this seriously. HB 824 does not have a hearing date set, but that could change at any moment. If either bill is passed, Tennessee gambling laws could change significantly.
The Tennessee General Assembly adjourns for this session at the end of April, and so time is running out to get something done.
Check back for more TN sports betting news and the latest sports news in The Volunteer State.
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