State lottery officials are being cautious about introducing sports betting in Tennessee.

  • In May, Tennessee became the first state to legalize online-only sports betting.
  • The Tennessee Education Lottery is the regulatory body in charge of sports betting in TN.
  • The State Lottery is looking to partner with a third-party service in order to vet potential Tennessee sportsbook operators.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL), took a small step towards launching Tennessee sports betting last week. The TEL issued out a Request for Proposal (RFP) in order to partner with a third-party company which will help vet through potential TN sports betting operator applications.

Most states, such as New Hampshire, vet through those applications themselves but Tennessee comes as a special case.

In late May, Tennessee became the first state in the country to legalize “online-only” sports betting. The state has no casinos and did not previously have a designated gaming commission like other states, so setting up regulations have been more challenging.

The TEL is the government agency in charge of overseeing legal sports betting in Tennessee. Since the activity was signed into law, a Sports Wagering Advisory Council has been formed and there are five people in total on that council.

According to the Associated Press, one of those members is actually the Director of Operations and External Affairs of the Memphis Grizzlies, Kandace Stewart. By becoming the fifth member in August, the Council could start voting and conducting business.

However, there are supposed to be nine members on that council in total. With a short-handed Council of members in different fields, it only makes sense to seek the help of a third-party business to look through sports betting applications.

What Is In The RFP?

The Tennessee Education Lottery has an RFP set up for potential sportsbook operators in the state on its site right now. But the company that will help vet through those applications will have a few rules of their own to abide by.

Their main duty is to ensure that each applicant provides the proper financial information. Applicants need to submit at least three years of audited financial statements. They also need to provide tax returns and banks statements, as well as, quarterly and annual filings.

The company that the TEL partners with will then have to determine each applicant’s financial strength. They will have 60 days to do that after receiving each application.

An operator will have to have strong financial backing in order to do business in the state because of certain Tennessee sports betting laws. Those sports betting operators will have to pay 20% of their sports betting revenue to the state and are mandated to use official league data.

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