Action 247 - Tenessee Senator Richard Briggs

  • Two bills that would change the accepted methods of payment at sportsbooks in Tennessee will have to wait to be heard further because more testimony is being requested.
  • Since the suspension of Tennessee Action 24/7, the focal point of why TN HB 824 and TN SB 1029 even exist, lawmakers want more information from all sides on the subject.
  • In the meantime, Tennessee Action 24/7 is trying to get their license to operate reinstated with their first court date happening on Wednesday afternoon.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Legislation that made its way onto the radar last month in Tennessee regarding acceptable forms of payment with licensed sportsbooks has been put on pause as all eyes are currently on the Volunteer State for being the first to suspend a sports betting operator in the country.

Advance Financial is also known as Advance Financial Money Transmission Company LLC is a loan agency that was awarded a sports betting license to open Tennessee Action 24/7, the now-suspended sportsbook.

The idea of a loan business having a sportsbook did not sit well with some lawmakers and that’s where both House Bill 824 and Senate Bill 1029 were born. These mirroring bills would stop any current or future sports wagering business in TN from providing their players with loans in the same building. It also prohibits the taking of winnings to pay off a loan, which at the higher end of the spectrum can have interest rates of up to 279.5%.

Allowing for this method to continue could create an endless cycle of borrowing money from one business and spending it at another that is owned by the same company to then circle back to the other business and pay up. Lawmakers argue it’s a dangerous and slippery slope for not just the consumers but the integrity of the state’s sports gaming market.

Why The Hold Up?

Tennessee Action 24/7 became the first online sportsbook or sportsbook of any kind in the United States to have their license indefinitely suspended on March 18 since the repeal of PASPA. The Tennessee Education Lottery indefinitely suspended the operator’s license after evidence of money laundering, wire fraud, and credit card fraud surfaced. Tennessee Action 24/7 is the sports betting operation that these two bills were geared toward as the sportsbook is owned by Advance Financial.

On Tuesday, the Senate State and Local Government Committee were in the middle of a hearing that was supposed to end in a vote on TN SB 1029 but the hearing quickly ended as it was decided that more testimony would need to be heard on the issue. The House Departments and Agencies Subcommittee also postponed their meeting for TN HB 824 because of how Tennessee Action 24/7 has been making a splash in the headlines.

More testimony is being requested as lawmakers have decided these bills are necessary. With the evidence against Tennessee Action 24/7 and having them be the main sportsbook in Tennessee that is attached and acceptant of loans from players using money from their own Advance Financial is significant because they are the operator that was able to fall through the cracks with credit card fraud, money laundering, and wire fraud.

What’s Next?

No dates are on the board for either bill to be heard again as they will be gathering more testimony on the topic. However, Tennessee Action 24/7 is suing the Tennessee Education Lottery for an appeal on their suspension and seeking to reinstate their license immediately. They will get their first hearing in court on Wednesday.

The Tennessee General Assembly adjourns for 2021 on April 30. With all that’s happening, it looks as though these bills will see a favorable outcome and ultimately tighten up the regulated sports wagering market in the Volunteer State.

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