A new governor is set to take office in Tennessee, as well as in several other states in the US this year. Current Governor Bill Haslam will be ending his two term limit this year and there are several candidates that would like to take his position. The front runners of the Governor competition both seem to be in favor of sports betting, which would be a positive turn of events for the state if either are elected. Both Representative Craig Fitzhugh and Karl Dean, democrats, would be willing to see sports betting come to fruition.
The only problem is that Tennessee voters are not keen on democratic leaders. In the past, the state has leaned more towards republicans. However, both Dean and Fitzhugh stand a good chance of earning the seat and both have positive ideas on sports betting.
For Dean, he is a former mayor of Nashville who is running for governor with a focus on jobs, education and healthcare. During a recent debate against Fitzhugh, Dean was asked about sports betting in the state and responded by saying that there are issues that will need to be resolved before the industry could be created, such as if sports betting is a constitutional issue and if a referendum is needed or not. Dean also stated he does not think that the betting option would be a quick fix for the state’s budget and if residents of the state would like to have access to such wagering.
For Fitzhugh, the House of Representatives minority leader is on board with sports betting as well, hoping to see his state explore the issue. In the debate, the Rep said that Tennessee is so limited in their ability to raise revenues and that sports betting is already taking place in the state, but they are not able to reap the benefits. With legislation and regulations in place, the state would at least be able to earn money from the activity.
It will be interesting to see if either candidate is able to earn the Governor’s seat and if so, will sports betting take center stage as the next topic of debate?