One day after the mid-term elections, Tennessee state Representative Rick Staples (D-District 15) filed the state’s first piece of sports betting legislation ahead of the 2019 session, which begins Jan. 8. The bill, HB 0001, while an initial effort, covers many of the key points needed for meaningful legislation.
The “Tennessee Sports Gaming Act,” filed on Nov. 7, calls for legal sports betting “only in jurisdictions that approve sports betting by local option election.” This language seems to infer that legal sports betting would be brought to Tennessee voters and could potentially be approved on a county-by-county basis. In a similar situation in Louisiana, voters in some parishes approved daily fantasy sports, while voters in other did not.
The Tennessee bill calls for a 10 percent tax on a licensee’s adjusted gross income. Nevada’s 6.75 tax on gross sports betting revenue is the lowest of all states with legal sports betting while new sports betting jurisdictions in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island impose rates of 34 percent or higher. The bill would set the licensing fee at $7,500.