Both Tennessee and New Mexico have made significant moves in the interest of sports betting on Wednesday. Tennessee had a controversial bill approved by vote in the state House, while a tribe in New Mexico has announced their plans to open a casino that will accept sports wagers. Here’s what each state has in store for sports betting in the near future!
The state of Tennessee hasn’t always been thrilled when it comes to gambling, but that didn’t stop a bill from passing through the House on Wednesday. The final vote was 58-37, enough to move the bill forward to the Senate, but another clear indicator that not all lawmakers agreed with the measure.
Most of the Democrat lawmakers voted for the bill with just three voting against, but Republicans were split 50/50. This is because Republicans hold the belief that a sports betting bill encourages addiction. Because the bill would legalize mobile betting only, it would be far easier for underage bettors to place wagers because of the lack of in-person verification measures.
Representative Andy Holt took the concept even further, comparing the passing of a sports betting bill to encouraging other illegal activities, like the use of methamphetamine. Another Republican, Jerry Sexton, echoed Holt’s thoughts, showing that the Republican party definitely has some distaste for the bill.
Despite the opposition, the bill was also furthered along by the state Senate, which will put it on the docket for a vote in upcoming days. If the Senate ultimately approves the bill, the governor of Tennessee could potentially veto the decision.
Governor Bill Lee, also a Republican, has publicly opposed any efforts for gambling to grow within the state. Even if he does oppose the bill, his veto might not prove effective as lawmakers also have the ability to override his decision.
It was no sure thing that Tennessee would legalize sports betting, but for now it seems that it is moving in the right direction! What happens in the next week or so should really dictate what Tennessee will do.
The state of New Mexico is already home to two tribal casinos that offer sports betting, but a third is throwing their name into the hat. Isleta Pueblo has announced that they’ll be opening a casino this summer with USBookmaking serving as their sportsbook operator.
Sports betting is still not yet legalized with New Mexico, but tribal casinos operate under a tribal gaming compact that allows them to accept wagers where non-tribal casinos cannot. This won’t directly benefit sports betting legislature for the state, but the fact that another tribal casino is offering sports betting in the state may pressure lawmakers to make it legal.
A big argument for many legislators is that many people are already placing sports bets in their state through illegal avenues. This means there is already a hungry market for the hobby, making it easy for the state to cash in on tax revenue. Alternative legal opportunities like tribal casinos offer extra ways for the state to miss that revenue.
While it may not happen this year, the trend of tribal casinos is certainly a great sign for sports betting legalization in New Mexico.