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Casinos in Tennessee? Lawmaker proposes change to constitution to allow them

Changing the constitution is a long process in Tennessee.

A Memphis lawmaker is proposing an amendment to the Tennessee constitution to allow casinos in the state.

This comes as the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians confirms they are interested in buying a large parcel of land in Sevier County for "future economic development."

The land is located off I-40 next to Smokies Stadium. Sevierville officials say the Cherokee aren't banking on a casino, but believe its a sound economic opportunity for the tribe.

Representative Larry Miller filed a resolution proposing changes to the state constitution.

Right now, Article XI, Section 5 of the Constitution of Tennessee reads "the Constitution of the State of Tennessee provided for herein does not authorize games of chance associated with casinos, including, but not limited to, slot machines, roulette wheels, and the like."

Miller proposes deleting that language and adding this:

"The legislature may authorize casinos and games of chance associated with casinos to be operated within this state."

Miller has proposed a resolution to propose the amendment. If it passes, it would just be the first step in a long process to make a change to the constitution.

Proposed changes must first pass by a majority during one two-year General Assembly, and then pass by at least two-thirds in the next, and then be approved by voters in a gubernatorial election year.


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