As was widely predicted by industry observers, Tennessee became the fourth state this year and the 12th since the repeal of PASPA to bring sports betting into the light with the passage of Bill H1. The legislation made it through without the signature of Governor Bill Lee who, while resistant to the broadening out of gaming in the Volunteer State, apparently understood the value of the extra revenue that sports betting will generate.
By way of a recap, there will be no terrestrial sports wagering. The bill opens the way for the legalization of sports wagering in the state, but only via online and mobile means. Furthermore, it makes the use of official data for in-play betting mandatory. Operators will need to strike commercial deals with the leagues to facilitate that.
In terms of costing, operators will pay $750,000 per year for a license and a hefty 20 per cent tax on revenue. As has been previously reported, it looks like there will be a heavy reliance on tourism to generate sufficient handle to justify those fiscal barriers to entry.
Internet gaming software firm GAN welcomed the signing and legalization of internet sports betting in Tennessee. In a statement it said: “The Tennessee legislature passed a bill in the first week of May permitting online sports betting only on a state-wide basis, expected to commence on July 1. The bill has now moved to the Governor, who has allowed the bill to become law without his signature.
“The law came into effect on May 25. There are no physical casino locations in the State of Tennessee. However, with an estimated population of 6.8 million the legalization of online sports wagering is expected to be material to GAN’s business, as the company anticipates existing clients to extend their online GAN-supported operations into the State of Tennessee in 2019.”