Tennessee could be the latest US state to permit online sports betting. The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation stated that legal sports betting could be up and running as soon as November. This means that Tennesseans could look forward to betting on the upcoming football season.
This follows on from regulations being approved in April 2020. The legislators have yet to approve any of the operators for the sports betting system. But if enough operators have been deemed ready, then the sports betting program could arrive even earlier in fall.
So far there have been four operators who have applied for sports betting licenses. These operators have yet to be identified, and they will have to pass criminal checks before they get given a green light. There are also several large fantasy sports brands and European online bookmakers who have already declared an interest in operating in the state.
Tennessee currently has no legal physical gambling venues. But online sports betting became legal in the state in July 2019. This was in direct opposition to the efforts of Governor Bill Lee who refused to add his signature to the passing of the law.
Problems with licensing highlighted
Not that it’s going to be straightforward for these operators. The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation has come in for criticism due to the prohibitive licensing fees. These demand that each operate must pay $750,000 to be granted a license.
There would also be $25,000 fines if the operator is found to be in violation of the cap regulation. The corporation would also have the power to revoke licenses if an operator was found guilty of more serious infringements.
There will also be strict restrictions over what kinds of sports bets are on offer at these licensed sites. For example, there won’t be any live betting odds on college sports. However, it looks like parlay betting will be legal in Tennessee contrary to earlier reports.
Plus it should be noted that Tennessee sports betting will be online-only for the foreseeable future. However, there are no restrictions on the overall number of operators who can apply for a license.
While the 20% tax rate could put off some potential operators, it looks like Tennessee will become the next US hotspot for sports betting. This follows the likes of Michigan, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Montana and New Hampshire who have all successfully legalized sports betting.