Action 24/7 has won a round in its ongoing battle with the Tennessee Education Lottery Corp. (TELC). The online sportsbook was one of the first to launch in the state when Tennessee introduced its online-only sports gambling market late last year. However, only a few months later, it had its license suspended by the TELC over claims of money laundering and fraud. The license was restored by a judge as the sportsbook fought the suspension, but the Lottery was planning on pulling it once again. That’s not going to happen, as the same judge has ordered gambling regulators to back off while the legal challenge is being heard.
Action 24/7 Back in Action in Tennessee
Action 24/7 refuted the claim that there was widespread suspicious activity on its platform, an allegation that surfaced after an isolated incident involving one user who used seven different credit cards to make deposits before withdrawing the funds. It took its case to court, filing a lawsuit against the TELC, the entity that oversees Tennessee’s sports gambling operators. Davidson County Chancery Court Chancellor Patricia Head Moskal reinstated the license, pending the outcome of the challenge. The regulator had convened a new meeting to be held yesterday to once again consider putting the suspension back in place, but Moskal stopped the regulator in its tracks.
The judge essentially stripped the TELC of its authority temporarily, explaining that the court has “exclusive jurisdiction over Action 24/7’s appeal on judicial review.” As a result, Moskal told the regulator that it wouldn’t be able to hold the administrative hearing and will have to allow Action 24/7 to continue until the case reaches a conclusion. She added that regulators do not have “unilateral authority” to conduct additional hearings against Action 24/7.
TELC Could Lose Sports Gambling Power
Perhaps in response to the way the TELC has managed the situation with Action 24/7, a campaign to change Tennessee’s sports gambling oversight is underway. A new House bill, HB 1267, surfaced last week that would make the state’s Sports Wagering Advisory Council (SWAC) take the lead on managing the market. The council already works with the TELC in formulating measures to fine-tune the state’s sports gambling market, but HB 1267 would give it more control while reducing the role the current regulator plays.
HB 1267 was last discussed by House legislators this past February and hasn’t seen much movement since then. It was expected to make an appearance before the House State Government Committee this past Tuesday; however, there haven’t been any updates to the bill’s status. Should it be approved, the SWAC would “supervise compliance with laws relating to the regulation and control of wagering on sporting events” and the TELC would assist “at the discretion of the Council.”