Tennessee is a matter of days away from being the latest state to adopt new regulations that would legalize sports betting. Governor Bill Lee, while personally opposed to the broadening out of gambling opportunities in the Volunteer State, is expected to allow Bill H1 through without his signature this coming weekend.
And, according to figures revealed by sports betting news portal SportsHandle this week, policy makers are already anticipating a generous flow of new revenue into the state. Projections for gaming revenue from sports wagering hover around the $254m mark said the site. They are based on a prediction that the state’s population of adults (21-and-over) and 3.5 million tourists will generate an average of $30 per head in gross gaming revenue.
Tennessee will be unique among states that allow sports wagering in that there will be no terrestrial offer open to bettors. The Bill legislates solely for online and mobile gambling and market entrants will be required to sign up to commercial agreements with the sports leagues in order to gain access to official data, use of which will be mandatory.
What will be interesting is how the state’s taxation policy on sports wagering may or may not curb the appetite for market entry. Operators will have to hand over 20 per cent tax on revenue and that’s on top of a license costing $750,000 every year. Tennessee might well consider adding ‘tourism’ to its state motto: “Agriculture and Commerce”, given what seems to be a significant reliance on visitors to achieve those ambitious sports betting revenue projections.