The question arises after Tennessee House Representative Jason Powell has submitted a proposed constitutional amendment that could permit casino gaming in Tennessee.
Powell’s proposed amendment to the state constitution ( HJR 87) would give the General Assembly the power to “authorize casino gaming to be operated within the state.”
According to the resolution, if the amendment is approved and goes into effect, the state revenue generated from casino gaming would be reserved for public schools or gambling addition programs.
Apparently, Powell is proposing that the bulk of the revenue will be alloted to the K-12 education.
“I’m always looking for any opportunity to generate more opportunity for K-12 education funding,” he said, believing that the state is already behind in the casino gaming industry and thus losing the opportunity to generate income from it.
Currently, the state constitution allows state lottery but prohibits casino games like slot machines, roulette wheels and the like.
The fate of the proposed amendment may be uncertain as the state of Tennessee is solidly Republican with the GOP controlling the House, Senate and Governor’s office by record majorities for recent times.
Considering the mere approval of the lottery in the state had already been controversial, the casino gaming proposal is likely to receive some backlash and create a storm of protest.
So is Tennessee ready for casino gaming? Financially and economically speaking, yes. Now regarding the political aspect – well, we’ll have to wait and see.