The Tennessee Lottery has ended the public consultation process and will now move towards formulating rules and regulations for the sports betting industry in the state. No timeline for TN’s sports betting industry going live has been specified.
Lottery Ends Public Consultation Process
Tennessee Lottery officials have said that the regulator is not in a hurry to set up sports betting in the state. The state is expected to legalize the industry as early as July, but no exact time frame has been given as to when a regulatory framework will be introduced.
Just today, the Lottery wrapped up its consultation period. Having taken public comments on the draft, the Lottery can now make the next step – creating a regulatory framework. Yet, there seems to be no rush on the matter, officials have said.
The decision regarding the future and timeline of sports betting in the state depends on a nine-member Advisory Board. As soon as the Board members make a decision, vendors will be allowed to begin applying for a license.
Reasons for Optimism and Concern in Tennessee’s Sports Betting Industry
Commenting on the development, Better Collective TN CEO Call Spears said that he expects the soon-to-be-regulated sports betting industry in Tennessee would bring great rewards to both state and business.
Meanwhile, there have been some qualms. For example, one of the rules outlined in the draft caps player payments at 85%, a number lower to the industry’s average, which could demotivate players from participating in sports betting and gambling activities, Spears cautioned.
He further added that the move would have serious, “detrimental effects” to the competitiveness of the market in relation to other states:
“It would be so detrimental to a competitive marketplace that I’m afraid a lot of potential licensees like DraftKings, FanDuel casinos would not even pay for a license.”
Spears explained that if companies don’t see the point in obtaining a local license – or players feel their profit margin is considerably narrower than alternatives – they could continue crossing state borders, flying to Las Vegas or simply turning to an offshore venue.
He also said that a change to the parlay system ought to be made. As it stands, players would lose a parlay bet if one of the events is cancelled. Spears gave an example with New Jersey where, if this happens, the bookies just dock the bet from your ticket and still play your accumulator bet.
Meanwhile, not everyone is looking far into the future. Rep. Rick Staples, the man who whipped up the bill and support, has been hopeful of an even quicker timetable. According to Staples, Tennessee has lost $3 billion to other states from not legalizing sports betting.
Staples is also hopeful that TN can yet reap the rewards of major sports events, including March Madness, the collegiate basketball event.