TN Legislature Puts SB 1029 on Hold Until Next Week

Lawmakers in Tennessee decided to put on hold SB 1029 which proposes the prohibition of sports wagering and flex-loan companies to share the same physical location. The bipartisan bill will be heard by the Senate State and Local Government Committee next Tuesday.

Lawmakers in Tennessee Put SB 1029 on Hold until Next Week

A bill that proposes to prohibit the coexistence of sportsbooks and flex-loan companies within the same physical location in Tennessee was deferred to next week in the Senate. Senate Bill 1029 was filed early in February and its primary sponsor is Senator Richard Briggs.

Since its introduction, the bill passed its first and second consideration in February. Last week, a hearing for the bill by the Senate State and Local Government Committee was set for Tuesday this week.

During the meeting yesterday, SB1029 was introduced and an expert witness testified. Afterward, the bill was deferred to next week Tuesday, March 30. HB 0824, which is a bill with a similar proposal, was also introduced in February. Just like SB 1029, HB 0824 was also deferred to next week Tuesday.

The Bill Aims at Protecting Players

SB1029 proposes to amend several titles within Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) related to financial institutions. The bill prohibits people from placing bets or wagers within the same building where they can enter into a flex-loan plan under the Flexible Credit Act.

In other words, the proposal aims to reduce the possibility of individuals taking loans with the purpose of sports wagering. Although sports betting is considered an entertainment activity, it does involve betting real money which may prove to be addictive to some people or even result in problem gambling behavior. It is yet to be confirmed if Tennessee’s legislature would introduce changes to the proposal.

During the meeting yesterday, Brianne Doura-Schawohl, vice president of U.S. Policy and Strategic Development for Epic Risk Management, who was cited by TNBets shared her concerns. She said that gambling as entertainment can be accessed “only by the utilization of disposable and discretionary income“.

Furthermore, Doura-Schawohl added that individuals “seeking to borrow money from a high-interest lender” are struggling and should not be gambling. She also deemed the ease of access to gambling after receiving a high-interest loan as “incredibly irresponsible and risky”.

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