Could Tennessee Expand Online Gambling Options?

by -

Online sports betting in Tennessee has been a success and the industry is still growing. Betly just launched as the tenth mobile provider in the state with Fubo Sportsbook potentially launching later this year. Comparing the first seven months of 2021 to this year, total wagers are up 62% and tax revenue for the state is $7.5 million higher.

With how well online sports betting has been received in the Volunteer State, could legislators look to expand online gambling options? Are online casinos expanding anywhere? Let’s dive in.

Tennessee Online Casinos

The growth and success of Tennessee sports betting make it easy to forget legislation almost didn’t pass back in 2019. Gov. Bill Lee let House Bill 1 pass without his signature while saying he didn’t believe online sports betting was in the best interest of the state. That was after the bill narrowly passed in the Senate 19 to 12.

Considering Gov. Lee referred to casino gambling as “the most harmful form of gambling”, those hoping to see online gambling expanded in Tennessee will likely be waiting for some time.

What States Are Considering Online Casinos?

Although sports betting has been legalized in some capacity in over 30 states, online casinos haven’t enjoyed the same amount of success. Online gambling is currently legal in just six states, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Delaware, Connecticut, and West Virginia.

There aren’t any states that are imminent in expanding to online casinos, but a handful has at least put forth legislation.

New York

After seeing online sports betting wagers top $1.6 billion the first month it was live, mobile casino operators have been salivating at the thought of gaining access to NY. While the bill proposed by Sen. Joseph Addabbo to legalize online casinos in New York went nowhere fast, it will definitely be brought back up in 2023. Working in his favor is the fact sports betting has brought in over $300 million in revenue for the state in just six months. Also, former Gov Andrew Cuomo, who was against online casinos, will have resigned from office more than a year.

Illinois

The Prairie State actually looked poised to get an online gambling bill passed last year as the House and Senate were working on companion bills in order to make progress at the same time. Both pieces of legislation ultimately got held up but the bill’s sponsors are sure to make another push in 2023.

Kentucky

Kentucky finds itself in a weird position as there is no legal gambling of any kind and a law prohibiting retail casinos in the state. Despite that, HB 606 actually passed in the House this past year but failed in the Senate. Theoretically, this means a similar bill could pass in the House much quicker next year and be put in front of the Senate again, earlier in the legislative period.

Indiana

Sports betting has been live in Indiana since September 2019 and lawmakers have been trying to expand online gambling since 2020. Similar to Tennessee, however, Indiana is a conservative state, and any attempt to legalize online casinos has shut down quickly. Despite the success of sports betting in Indiana, there doesn’t seem to be much hope for online casinos anytime soon.