by: Jordan Brown Posted: Nov 1, 2020 / 11:40 PM EST / Updated: Nov 1, 2020 / 11:40 PM EST
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — As of November 1, sports betting in Tennessee is legal. It’s something Tennessee representative Rick Staples has been working on for a good portion of his term. Tennessee sports fans are eager to participate. “I think for anybody that’s got a passion for sports betting, its finally here. It’s something that I’ve looked forward to just because now I don’t have to travel across state lines if I want to place a bet on a team,” said East Tennessee sports fan Joshua Jenkins. The passing of this bill makes Tennessee a sports betting leader in the country. That’s according to its sponsor, State Representative Rick Staples. “Tennessee is the first non gaming state in the nation to allow for an online interactive and mobile only sports betting.” Staples said. Other states allow sports betting but only Tennesseans can do it from pretty much anywhere. No casinos needed. And all the money that was going to sports betting in other states can now stay right here. “Five percent of the money taken in will go towards the department of mental health to deal with addictive services. Fifteen percent will be going down to locals. Like the city of Knoxville is estimated to get about 1.8 the county about 1.8 as well and then the other 85 percent will be put into the budget in order to further and strengthen our education and services.” Staples said. Betting just started Sunday at midnight and people have already put their money on their favorite Tennessee teams. “I did and the titans really let me down so I lost some money on the titans today. So they’re going to have to do a lot better next week so I can put some more faith in them again.” said Jenkins Representative Staples says he hopes this will begin to help the state make up for the financial losses caused by the pandemic.
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