Tennessee law makers taking a bet to allow gambling in the state - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Tennessee law makers taking a bet to allow gambling in the state

WMC Action News 5 WMC Action News 5
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

A Tennessee legislator is taking a bet that people here in the state might actually want gambling. For years now, law makers have been trying to bring gambling to the state of Tennessee.

And this year is no different, in fact, this time, Nashville Democratic Representative Jason Powell is proposing an amendment to the state constitution.

Powell's goal, as stated in the document, is to use the revenue from casino gaming for K-12 public schools or gambling addiction programs.

“As long as you don't get addicted to it, it really wouldn't be a bad thing. But if you start going down and losing your paycheck and stuff like that and it takes away from other things that you have to do, then that's where the downfall comes in,” said parent Antonio Croom.

But this proposal is a long way from a reality. If it passes in Nashville, then the amendment will be put on the ballot for voters to decide.

School board members say it's too early to comment.

But research already shows the impact a possible casino could have on the community.

“I don't think it's an economic issue, I don't think economists would talk about it as a problem for a community to introduce gaming,” said Jim Whalen, Director of the Institute for Gambling and Education Research on University of Memphis' Campus.

But some say it will only encourage gambling addiction.

“They're going to take the money and keep it for themselves,” said parent Kay Scott. “Get it somewhere else, not gambling.”

But the idea of more funding for public schools is tempting for some.

“People make their choices, whether to gamble or be responsible. So I think it's a good idea. Not just in that entity but in any other resource to help this city grow again,” argued parent Colyde Holt.

You can view the entire proposed bill here.

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