Tennessee lawmaker fights sportsbook that offers payday loans

Posted: February 16, 2021, 9:46 a.m.

Last update on: February 16, 2021, 12:39 p.m.

Tennessee State Rep. Darren Jernigan (D-60th) takes a stand against payday loans and sports betting, which he says shouldn’t be served on the same menu.

24/7 response
Mike and Tina Hodges, seen here, are the husband and wife team responsible for Action 24/7 and Advance Financial 24/7. (Image: Type surveys)

According to Jernigan, that’s exactly what’s happened in the state’s newest sports betting market since Action 24/7’s January license.

The online bookmaker is part of the same group as local payday lender Advance Financial 24/7. This means that players can now fund their Action 24/7 accounts in the same physical space that they can request for a loan at the annual percentage rate (APR) of 279%. What could go wrong?

live dangerously

Both brands are part of Advance Financial Money Transmission Company. The company is owned by husband and wife business team Tina and Mike Hodges.

Major donors to Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, the Hodges describe themselves on their website as “fascinated by dangerous thinking and living.” They are also adherents of an obscure branch of philosophy called “guidance” and are the founders of the Hodges Foundation for Philosophical Guidance.

But Jernigan thinks steering sports betting right next to predatory lending is a lousy philosophy.

Really, that’s the literal definition of loan sharking,” Jernigan said Legal sports report. “I take a loan at 279% interest and then I play with it. The only difference is that you don’t break your legs the next day. You enter a cycle of debt that ends in bankruptcy.

He also fears that customers are being encouraged to place a bet in an attempt to “cancel their loan”.

Pause to think

Like Sports handle recently discovered, it’s illegal in Tennessee for licensed payday lenders to sell lottery tickets, and it’s unclear why sports betting should be any different.

But the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation (TELC) Sports Betting Committee found no impediments to licensing Action 24/7 at its meeting in January, although its application was not approved without hesitation.

“It’s a bit embarrassing that someone can so easily use borrowed money to put money into a sports betting account,” board and committee member Will Carver said during the interview. Of the reunion. “Because of where he is, there is a pause.”

Now Jernigan wants the rules rewritten. He introduced a bill to the Tennessee Legislature that would make it illegal for lenders to offer loans and cash checks to people using the outlet for betting purposes.

Talk to LSR, Jernigan also accused Action 24/7 of withholding clients’ sports betting winnings to pay off debts. A company spokesperson denied that was the case.

About Brandon A. Hood

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