Tennessee Hands out First Interim Sports Betting Licenses

Ahead of the official launch of sports betting in Tennessee, the state has approved the first round of licenses. Even though the licensing process was off to a slow start earlier this year, the state regulator has been able to act quickly and overcome the coronavirus pandemic, working out the details of the regulatory framework.

Tipped to arrive on November 1, the Tennessee Education Lottery’s Sports Wagering Committee has issued three licenses to high-profile operators on Wednesday, paving the way for FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM in the state.

With a temporary license available, these companies will now seek a more permanent position in the state. The Wagering Committee is due to convene on October 5 and 16, which should review each application closer, issue more permanent licenses and consider entries from other applicants.

The committee also voted on a first supplier, out of 26 vendors who were part of a public bidding process. Meanwhile, the committee has successfully issued licenses to 22 industry applicants, comprising of payment providers and affiliate marketing companies associated with the gambling business.

Commenting on the progress achieved so far, Susan Lanigan, Chair of the Board at the Wagering Committee had this to say:

“The staff at the Tennessee Lottery performed a tremendous amount of work and due diligence to prepare us for these decisions today. We appreciate their efforts as we work to establish and support a responsible and competitive sports wagering program in Tennessee.”

Tennessee’s Sports Betting to Generate Good Revenue for State

Tennessee will operate its sports betting market by binding mobile and online wagering opportunities, but not asking for land-based facility to run sports betting. The regulation enacted right now is based on SB00016 which was passed by the state’s house and senate, and signed into law in May 2019 by Governor Bill Lee.

Licensing fees in Tennessee are somewhat steep, too. Under the current legislation, each applicant has to cover a licensing fee worth $750,000 and sportsbooks will have to pay tax equal to 20% of their gross revenue.

Sports betting rules were finally approved by the lottery in April, discussing and settling on a few controversial elements. Officials agreed on a 90% annual payouts cap to bettors, an amount that was previously considered at 85%.

Tennessee Education Lottery President and Chief Executive Rebecca Hargrove had this to add We will continue to work with all parties involved to protect the consumer, promote fairness in sports and regulate this new Tennessee industry that provides critical funds to the state and local governments.”

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