New Tennessee Sports Betting Bill Would Change Some Duties Of Advisory Council

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A new piece of legislation was introduced Tuesday in Nashville that would make some changes to the way sports betting is overseen and implemented. The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation, along with its Sports Wagering Advisory Council, are currently hashing out regulations to oversee the upcoming industry, expected to launch in late spring or early summer.

The legislation, Senate Bill 2216, comes from state Sen. Steven Dickerson, a Republican from Nashville. Dickerson was one of the policymakers behind the Sports Gaming Act, passed into law last year.

The TELC indicated at its last meeting in January that it’s moving cautiously with establishing the rules and regulations for the industry. At last month’s meeting, it was said that the rules and regulations could be finalized at the Feb. 18 meeting in Nashville.

Dickerson’s proposed law would tweak some of the provisions from the Sports Gaming Act pertaining to the relationship between the TELC and the nine-member Sports Wagering Advisory Council, comprised of people appointed by several state officials, including the governor.

Tennessee, which isn’t home to any casinos, is pursuing the nation’s first internet-only sports wagering market. It’s been a complicated process to implement the historic law. There was some criticism of the draft regulations released late last year, and the TELC is currently mulling over the feedback.

SB 2216 proposed changes

Here’s a look at one proposed change (emphasis added by TN Bets).

Old section:

(28) “Wager” or “bet” means a sum of money that is risked by a bettor on the unknown outcome of one (1) or more sporting events, including, but not limited to, the form of fixed-odds betting, a future bet, live betting, a money line bet, pari-mutuel betting, parlay bet, pools, proposition bet, spread bet, or in any other form or manner as authorized by rule of the board.

Proposed new section:

(28) “Wager” or “bet” means a sum of money that is risked by a bettor on the unknown outcome of one (1) or more sporting events, including, but not limited to, the form of fixed-odds betting, a future bet, live betting, a money line bet, pari-mutuel betting, parlay bet, pools, proposition bet, spread bet, or in any other form or manner as authorized by rule of the council.

Another proposed change…

Old section:

(a) There is created a lottery corporation sports wagering advisory council to assist the corporation with sports wagering activities.

Proposed new section:

(a) There is created a sports wagering advisory council to enforce this part and supervise compliance with laws relating to the regulation and control of wagering on sporting events in this state.

A third proposed change…

Old section:

(a) The corporation and board shall enforce this part and supervise compliance with laws and rules relating to the regulation and control of wagering on sporting events in this state.

(b) The board shall promulgate rules in accordance with this part. Rules of the board promulgated under this part must be adopted, amended, or repealed in the same manner as the board adopts, amends, and repeals bylaws and regulations of the board for purposes of regulating the corporation’s affairs and the conduct of corporate business.

Proposed new section:

(a) The corporation shall:

(1) Assist the council regarding enforcement of this part;

(2) Advise the council of best practices with respect to sports wagering;

and

(3) Carry out any other duties as prescribed by the council or this part.

(b) The council shall promulgate rules in accordance with this part and the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5, part 2.

What does all this mean?

Dickerson’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the legislation from TN Bets. The TELC declined to comment on the proposed law when contacted Wednesday by TN Bets.

The legislation hasn’t been scheduled for a hearing yet.

SB 2216 appears to give more responsibility to the Advisory Council. It’s unclear what the bill would do to the timeline for launching online/mobile sports betting in Tennessee, if it gains traction in the legislature.

Stay tuned to TNBets.com for more coverage of Tennessee’s path towards legal sports gaming.

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Brian Pempus

Brian served as a senior reporter and online content manager for Card Player Magazine for nearly a decade before joining USBets in October 2018. He is currently focused on legal and regulated sports betting and online gaming. He's an avid jiu-jitsu practitioner in his free time.

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