Tennessee Starts Handing Out Approval To Operators

For BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel to operate in the state, the Tennessee Education Lottery Corp Sports Wagering Committee has given its conditional approval.

At the next meeting of the committee on October 5, full approval is expected to be reported. An application was completed by Tennessee Action 24/7, a local operator, but has not been tested at this time. Conditional approval for the three operators was given after the members of the committee accepted their applications yesterday during a meeting.

During the committee meeting, Rebecca Hargrove said: “Vendors, suppliers and operators have to be approved before moving ahead. Until the operator’s supplier is approved, the operator can’t go live. Some won’t be approved until our next meeting.”

Hargrove allocated a November 1 start date for sports betting in the state during the last committee meeting on August 19. However, if the four operators that have applied will open on the same day, there is a chance that regulated sports betting will start sooner, maybe one or two weeks earlier.

For the US sports betting market, with no terrestrial casinos inside state lines, Tennessee is shaping up to be a fascinating prospect, meaning sports wagering would have to be a mobile-only affair. In addition, a minimum hold of 10 percent was put by state regulators on operators, a move that some analysts say would lead to fewer competitive odds for bettors and more in the way of deals of the parlay kind.

A charge and likely a revocation of the operating licence would be caused if the minimum hold is not met. Although the rule appears severe, it is an improvement of a minimum hold of 15 percent on the initial recommendation.

As for market entry, operators would need to pay $750,000 for a licence annually. They will be subject to a tax rate of 20 percent once they are operational and will be forced to use official league data. However, there is no limit on the number of operators that are eligible to apply for a licence.