Sponsors and sports fans alike have a lot of questions for Tennessee lawmakers. There have been so many inquiries, that lawmakers held a press conference in Nashville on Thursday to try to provide answers. A bill was passed in July of 2019 to allow online sports betting, so naturally, people are eager to place bets and want to know why they can’t bet yet. According to the sparse answers given on Thursday, sports betting may not launch in the state until all of 2020.
There are several rules in the sports bill that lawmakers say are ‘murky’ and need a lot more clarification. The Tennessee Lottery Commission is in charge of sports betting, before, during and after it officially launches. The Commission appointed a special sub-committee in November to address all of the issues involving sports betting. The sub-commission was charged with making sure the rules are clearly stated, so there are no issues. The House was supposed to vote on the bill on Wednesday, however, it’s been stalled.
The State Opened Up A Public Forum For Residents To Ask Questions About Sports Betting
Lottery officials on Thursday said that the pubic had a lot of questions and concerns about the initial rules laid out by the Lottery Commission. Due to questions and concerns raised, these issues must be addressed before sports betting can officially launch. A huge concern that came out of the public forum was the payout cap for winners who place bets. Currently it’s set at 85% cap, and that has caused several questions and concerns according to the information released on Thursday.
That number has raised a lot of ire from critics of that issue. Sports betting advocates say that cap is ‘crippling’ and minimizes the amount of money betters can win. With more and more states coming on board with sports betting, experts say that amount could do long-range damage, as betters can cross state lines to get better rates.
Lawmakers Are Optimistic That The Rules Regarding Sports Betting Will Be Agreed On
The Chairwoman of the Lottery Commission, Susan Lanigan said that number is a big issue. She said, ‘you wouldn’t think that percent would be a stumbling block, but it is.’ Lanigan said the number should not be any lower than 92%. Lanigan advised her colleagues that the number of the cap has to be higher, to be competitive with what other states are doing. Lanigan said the 92% is a good starting number, anything lower is not reasonable she said. Tennessee Lieutenant Randy McNally sent a letter to the lottery commission asking them to hold the vote.’
McNally said ‘there are too many issues now that must be resolved before sports betting can move forward. Instead of taking a vote on Wednesday, the board members met and talked about what needs to take place before the bill is voted on. The bill has been tabled four times already, but lawmakers say sports betting will launch in 2020.