Tenn. gov. could be ready to back sports gambling

Governor Bill Lee could support the industry as long as he has input

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Tennessee lawmakers have been discussing sports gambling legislation for some time, knowing that they would meet resistance with the Volunteer State’s governor, Bill Lee. Lee has been opposed to gambling expansion in the state, at one point going so far as to say that he would work with legislators to ensure the activity wasn’t approved. However, it now seems that Lee may have reversed course and could be ready to put his signature on a sports gambling bill.

The move doesn’t come without a cost – Lee has already stated that there are several changes he wants to make to the legislation and only with these changes could the bill find him putting pen to paper. While the governor still isn’t ready to allow casinos in the state, he is at least becoming more amenable to sports gambling.

According to Tennessee’s WKRN news outlet, “Governor Lee continues to believe that gambling expansion is not in the best interest of our state. The Lee administration will often work with lawmakers to improve a bill that impacts the state’s economic and social health, even if it’s not something we plan to support.”

The current legislative session ends in May, which doesn’t give a lot of time for a sports gambling bill to become law. However, even if it doesn’t make it through before the end of the current session, it would be able to be revived in the next session, precluding the necessity for the entire process to begin from scratch.

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