published Monday, February 18th, 2013

Bills request study on allowing Shelby County casinos

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis lawmakers are asking for a state legislative committee to examine the feasibility and economic impact of allowing casino gambling in Shelby County.

The Commercial Appeal bills filed this year by Memphis Democrats Rep. Larry Miller and Sen. Reginald Tate would create a joint study committee that would report findings to the legislature next year, but the proposal faces low odds in a conservative Tennessee legislature.

Furthermore, the traditional forms of casino gambling are banned by the Tennessee Constitution and would require a constitutional amendment. In 2002, the state constitution was amended to allow the Tennessee Lottery for educational scholarships, but it specifically exempted “games of chance associated with casinos.”

Tate said he’s sponsoring the bill at the request of Miller, but said the bill “probably will not” pass.

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