Tennessee governor allows sports betting without signature

Local In TN
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In this March 22, 2019 photo, gamblers watch live sporting events at the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City, N.J. Since sports betting became legal last year in New Jersey, the state’s casinos and racetracks had taken more than $2.6 billion worth of bets through the end of April 2019. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee is about to become the first state in the nation to offer an online-only sportsbook as the governor says he has reluctantly allowed a sports betting proposal to become law without his signature.

However Gov. Bill Lee on Friday warned that any future attempt to expand gambling throughout the state would result in a veto.

Lee announced he was allowing the bill to become enacted because it did not “pursue casinos,” which he said encourages criminal activity.

The legislation, which has a July 1 effective date, would allow regulated statewide mobile and interactive sports gambling for people 21 and older.

The proposal is projected to bring in more than $50 million annually.

States are increasingly legalizing sports betting after the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way last year.

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