Tennessee To Legalize Bingo for Fundraisers

By Ben Hamill - January 31 2019

Tennessee To Legalize Bingo for Fundraisers

Officials in Tennessee, US have long been pushing for the legalization of bingo games and other gambling-related activities between state borders. Most recently, a proposed joint resolution in the state’ senate is seeking to legalize and regulate the popular, social game for all local residents.

Senate Joint Resolution 97 was reportedly filed late last week by R-District 8’s Senator Frank S. Niceley. The bill, nicknamed SJR97, would change certain clauses and language in Article XI, Section 5 of the Tennessee Constitution.

The aforementioned constitutional article currently bans all forms of ‘lottery games’ that are not already being offered in the state. The only legal exception to this rule would come into play if each house in the General Assembly were to receive a two-thirds vote.

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Revenues to Go Entirely to Schools

The newly proposed legislation would amend the offending section of the law to allow the legislature needed to regulate bingo to pass. The only caveat would be that revenues from the activities would need to be used solely for the benefit and support of public and private schools in the region.

Of course, fundraising and bingo are already the perfect pairing. The game has long been used by charities, schools, social organizations and countless other groups to raise the money necessary to do good in whichever areas they have seen fit. Revenues on a statewide level would be invaluable in supporting educational programs in TN, not to mention improving school facilities and introducing new sports and cultural initiatives.

Also, considering that the title is legal in almost every other US state, Tennessee officials seemingly have a lot of catching up to do in order to bring their gaming legislation in line with that of their neighboring regions. After the Supreme Court abolished the PASPA Act of 1992, many states were quick to legalize sports betting and online casinos as well, and they have all been reaping the rewards ever since.

Benefits for Residents of All Ages

With that said, charitable revenues are a different concept entirely to takings that would flow directly into state coffers. By regulating and allowing land-based bingo halls to set up shop in TN, lawmakers would be doing a service to both players and countless local schools in need.

Adult players could enjoy the social atmosphere that only this game can bring, along with the incentive of hefty cash wins, while younger residents will benefit from improved school facilities, better education programs, and a host of other advantages.

News on Senate Joint Resolution 97’s reception among legislators – and whether or not it will be passed into law – is expected to surface soon.

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