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Tennessee Lawmakers Pass Bill to Tax Sportsbooks By Handle


Posted on: April 21, 2023, 12:17h. 

Final up to date on: April 22, 2023, 05:35h.

Tennessee is on its method to altering the way it taxes sportsbooks.

Tennessee sign
A Tennessee welcome signal greets guests as they enter the Volunteer State. State lawmakers accepted a invoice that might change how Tennessee taxes sports activities betting operators. (Picture: andreykr/Adobe Inventory Photographs)

On Friday, the state Home of Representatives voted 75-7 to go an amended model of Senate Invoice 475. The invoice requires the state to modify from a 20% tax on revenues to a 1.85% tax on deal with, the quantity wagered every month.

Whereas the federal authorities locations a .25% excise tax on every wager, Tennessee can be the primary state within the nation to tax deal with as a substitute of income.

The invoice additionally addresses a few different objects. It formally adjustments the title of the Tennessee Sports activities Wagering Advisory Committee by eradicating “Advisory” from it, since as state Rep. Andrew Farmer (R-Sevierville) informed colleagues on the Home flooring Friday, the SWAC is now not actually “in an advisory place.”

The invoice additionally adjustments the flat $750K annual renewal charge for operators and replaces it with a tiered construction.

The amended model of SB 475 handed by the Home primarily modified that invoice to reflect Home Invoice 1362, the reform invoice filed by Farmer. SB 475 handed unanimously within the Senate on April 13 and can now return to that physique.

It’s my intent because the sponsor to concur with the Home amendments,” mentioned state Sen. John Stevens (R-Huntingdon), SB 475’s sponsors, informed On line in an e-mail Friday after the Home vote.

It’s unsure when that can happen and whether or not Gov. Invoice Lee (R) will signal it into legislation.

UPDATE (5:45 pm ET): The Senate voted to approve the Home’s adjustments to each the tax and the renewal charge, which the SWC will set between $375,000 and $750,000 based mostly on operator revenues.

Sports activities Betting Deal with, Income Up in March

In March, the SWAC reported that bettors wagered $392.7 million by way of sports activities betting apps. That’s up $65.3 million from February, with that improve probably fueled by the NCAA Males’s Basketball Event.

The licensed sportsbooks reported $43.7 million in revenues for the month, and the 20% tax means the state will obtain $8.8 million. That’s an $11.9 million improve from the income they obtained in February.

March’s betting exercise was additionally up $22.4 million, or 6%, from March 2022. The year-to-year income totals had been $21 million extra this 12 months, a 92.2% improve from final 12 months.

The state doesn’t breakdown deal with or income totals by the operator.

Tennessee is the one state that enables on-line sports activities betting with out an in-person brick-and-mortar element. At the moment, a dozen operators are licensed within the state: Bally Wager, Barstool Sportsbook, Betly, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, Fanatics, FanDuel, Exhausting Rock, SuperBook, Tennessee Motion 24/7, and WynnBET.

Will Tennessee Profit, or Sportsbooks?

Farmer informed colleagues Friday that it was his understanding that switching to a deal with tax wouldn’t lower the funding the state receives.

Nonetheless, an evaluation by On line exhibits that if the Home’s 1.85% deal with tax was in place for the 2022-23 fiscal 12 months, then the state would have obtained $58 million, or 11% lower than the $65.1 million Tennessee has obtained since final July. As an alternative of the $8.8 million it obtained in March, the deal with tax would have generated $7.2 million.

If the invoice is signed into legislation, it will additionally remove the ten% required maintain for sportsbooks. Nonetheless, in current months, these operators have been in a position to meet or exceed that requirement extra usually. Since final July, the general maintain – calculated by dividing the reported income by the reported deal with – has been 10% or larger in six of the final 9 months. Within the 20 months previous to that, the requirement was met simply twice.

As famous above, the state doesn’t report particular person operator knowledge, so it’s unsure which operators have been assembly the deal with requirement and which of them haven’t. Nonetheless, a fiscal evaluation of the invoice reported that 9 of the then 11 operators didn’t meet the ten% maintain requirement in 2022.

The laws comes because the state’s licensed sportsbooks have reported the very best income totals since wagering started in November 2020. The highest seven month-to-month income totals general have come inside the final seven months.

The evaluation signifies that as sportsbooks improve their promotion of parlay wagers, together with same-game parlays, they’re probably going to cut back their tax legal responsibility transferring ahead.

Critics argue if the invoice turns into legislation, it will not profit bettors.


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