HB0001/SB0016 Legalizes Sports betting in TN. Staples/Dickerson

Bill Description

Legalizes betting on sporting events in TN. Under this bill, a licensee must pay a monthly 10 percent privilege tax on its adjusted gross income to the department of revenue. The privilege tax collected will be distributed to the state treasurer into the general fund to be used as follows:
(1) 40 percent for general appropriations by the general assembly;
(2) 30 percent remitted to each Tennessee college of applied technology and community college for equipment and capital projects on a per capita basis; and
(3) 30 percent remitted to each local government, with half apportioned to the local government's school system and half to be used for local infrastructure projects.

TLRC Position

Against: Legalizing addictive activities only encourages more, and is disparately hard on those who can least afford to lose. The motivator is revenue; Tennessee does not need additional revenue; especially revenue dependent on questionable behaviors. Nothing is produced, repaired, or gained except the revenue, with 90% of the profits going to outside licensees, not the state treasury and the special distributions promised in the bill.

TLRC Observed Process

The bill passed with 58 ayes, 37 noes, and 2 not voting.
There was a good debate with strong arguments questioning the wisdom of the bill by several members: Reps. Holt, Hawk, M. Hill, J. Sexton, and others.
There was considerable lobbying throughout the session by special interests in favor of the bill.

Vote Result: Passed

Score: -5

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