Tennessee House and Colorado House Pass Sports Betting Bills

Tennessee House and Colorado House Pass Sports Betting Bills

Today was a banner day for sports betting legislation in 2019 as both the Houses in Tennessee and Colorado voted to approve sports betting bills.

Tennessee's vote came down around lunch time, and Colorado followed about an hour after. Tennessee didn't stop there, though, as a Senate committee in Tennessee approved the bill to be sent to the floor for a vote.

Despite all the attention seemingly on the three states considered closest to passing legislation into law, Tennessee and Colorado jumped into the spot themselves.

And with a Senate vote expected in the coming days, The Volunteer State could join that list of states only one signature away.

Tennessee House Approves Bill Following Fierce Debate

The House of Representatives in Tennessee voted 58-37 (2 present and not voting) to approve a bill legalizing sports betting despite a heated exchange during the debate period earlier today. Opponents of the bill went to great lengths to demonize sports betting but to no avail.

Fortunately, legislators saw through the propaganda. The appeal of adding tens of millions of dollars in state revenue while eliminating the need for constituents to use the illegal offshore market ultimately won out.

Worth Noting: The bill is the nation's first online-only sports betting bill. Tennessee has no existing gambling infrastructure, meaning no casinos or retail gambling so the legislators decided the sports betting will all be done online.

Senate Committee Sends Bill for Vote

On the same day the House passed their bill, the state's Senate Finance Committee approved the Senate's sports betting bill to be scheduled for a vote. The Senate Calendar Committee is now tasked with scheduling the vote.

Experts suggest a majority of Tennessee's Senate members are in favor of their sports betting bill, but not everyone is convinced the bill will garner enough support to pass.

Unfortunately, even if the Senate joins the House in support of sports betting, the current governor would need to sign off, and that doesn't seem likely.

Tennessee Governor Opposes Sports Betting

In 2018, Tennessee elected a Republican governor in Bill Lee, a successful business man who ran and won despite never holding political office.

During the gubernatorial race, Democrats running showed support for sports betting, but Lee actively spoke out against legalizing it. This does not bode well for the bill potentially heading towards his desk.

On a positive note, the House bill passed with significant support, and if it can do the same in the Senate, a veto could be overturned. And unless Governor Lee has a change in heart following support in both chambers, it looks like a veto is looming.

Colorado House Quickly Passes Sports Betting Bill

Colorado debated and voted to approve a bill today that allows for a vote in November to legalize sports betting.

It's now up to the state Senate to approve the bill and governor to sign it, then voters will have their choice in allowing sports betting within their state.

The Colorado bill is not seen favorably when compared to bills like those in Iowa and Tennessee, as well as laws in New Jersey that allow for mobile betting.

Colorado does have a low tax rate, but with competition limited to existing casinos, it's not going to draw any new companies to the state.

Like Mississippi and others, should Colorado ultimately approve sports betting in its current form, the state will sorely miss out on a wealth of potential state revenue.

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