Now that sports betting is legal in the U.S., some Shelby County Commissioners say they want to bring it Beale Street.
Commissioners will ask state lawmakers to pass sports betting as Mississippi has already done.
Commissioner Van Turner says it’s a gamble worth taking.
Right now, he says people from right here are taking their cold hard cash to Mississippi to play, and it’s Shelby County that losses.
“Everywhere around us they’re doing it,” said Turner. It’s like the casinos going down to Tunica, and you could see Memphians heading down there in streams.”
Turner wants those wages placed on Beale Street, and he didn’t find much opposition from commissioners on a measure to ask state lawmakers to allow internet taxes from sports betting to stay in the county its made.
Commissioner Mick Wright says he didn’t know how he would side with the issue until this Wednesday.
“As I took the exit of the interstate to get here this morning,” said Wright. “There was a billboard right off of 2nd Street that said come to Mississippi and do your sports betting.”
Wright says the idea of ads like that beaconing money across state lines is enough for him to support sports betting on Beale.
“Overall I think it’s a good idea,” said Turner. “Hopefully the legislature will hear it out and support it.”
If they do Sports betting could happen by this time next year.
“I think education should be funded,” said Commissioner Edmund Ford. “Education should not be a full burden.”
Turner agrees and is betting that additional revenue funding public safety, debt reduction and property taxes.
The full Commission will officially accept this and other legislative agenda items this Monday during their regular meeting.