New sports betting bill proposed in Tennessee

A bill in Tennessee has been proposed which would allow the state's local governments to legalise sports betting.

The Tennessee Sports Gaming Act intends to allow local governments to generate another form of income, according to State Representative Rick Staples.

He is quoted as saying by Local Memphis: "Billions of dollars leave the state of Tennessee to our neighbouring states with casino and table gambling. So, this is a new stream of revenue that the federal government is allowing the states to take advantage of."

Senator Brian Kelsey is also in the middle of drafting his own bill to rival Staples' proposal; both bills will be discussed on 8 January.

He said: "I am in the process of drafting a sports betting bill that would generate revenue specifically for preK-12 education.

"I think it is important to have local control over where sports betting takes place, so my bill would allow City Councils in Memphis and the other three large cities to designate areas for physical sports betting locations subject to a vote by the people."

However, Dr Ted Bender, with Turning Point and Addiction Campuses, claims not everyone in Tennessee is sold on the idea of legalising sports betting.

He said: "It’ll be interesting to see, if this bill passes, if that increases the gambling problem in this country, or whether it just stays the same and the money is rerouted to different places."