According to David Hawk, a Tennessee congressman, additional funding may be needed when students return to in-person learning in schools. One source of revenue that may help the schools is the sports betting tax revenue.
Will Tennessee’s Schools Receive Funding from Sports Betting Tax?
David Hawk, a Tennessee congressman revealed that his priority for this year would be funding education in the state. The announcement came ahead of the Tennessee general assembly in Nashville planned for Tuesday.
Speaking with News Channel 11’s Bianca Marais, the congressman shared his plan to use some of the funds that the state received from online sports betting tax toward the funding of Tennessee’s schools. According to Mr. Hawk, additional funding may be needed for the schools upon the return of the students to learning in-person.
“I’m going to try to take those dollars, 80% of those dollars, and put them back toward local governments for K through 12 facility building.”
Tennessee Congressman David Hawk
Mr. Hawk added that he will try to allocate some 80% of the money collected from online sports betting toward local governments. Furthermore, the congressman acknowledged that this is “something that has not been tried before” and he will be the one to try and allocate those funds to Tennessee’s schools.
Focusing on money, according to Mr. Hawk if there are $25 million brought by online gambling in Tennessee, those may be split “on a per-pupil basis“. He estimates that with such an amount, some $25 per student would go back to school districts.
Tennessee Sports Betting Surpassed All Expectations
Sports betting in Tennessee was legalized in November 2020. For its first month of operation, the sports betting surpassed all expectations, according to numbers released by the Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL). According to the TEL numbers, some $131.4 million were generated in sports betting handle in November by sportsbooks. Out of that total, $118.2 million were returned in payouts to sports bettors by the operators.
Considering that the sports betting tax revenue is 10% of the handle, this means that in 1 month, the activity generated $2.4 million in taxes. Furthermore, from that amount, some 80% would be allocated to the lottery for education purposes. Another 15% goes to local governments and 5% helps problem gambling treatment in the state.