Sports betting discussed in Gubernatorial Tennessee election debate

Sports betting could play a role in the election deciding the Governor of Tennessee.

Broadcast on Local 24 News, Republican Bill Lee and Democrat Karl Dean debated several key issues, ranging from the legalisation of sports betting in the state to Medicaid.

On sports betting, Republican candidate Lee said: “I think that organised betting frequently develops into organised crime that we don't need in our state.”

Laws in Tennessee currently restrict gambling and there are no casinos in the state.   

Tennessee’s neighbouring states all offer casinos and Democrat candidate Dean does not want Tennessee to lose money across state lines.

Dean said: “We are going to have every state surrounding our state with sports betting and people will be going to those states spending money instead of here.”  

Tennessee voting figures swing towards a Republican majority, with results from 2016’s presidential election showing 60.7% of votes were cast for the GOP. The winner of this local election will replace outgoing Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (Rep.) who is term-limited.

Voting takes place on 6 November.