Tennessee Lottery has not managed to get sports betting up and running in the 9 months since the law passed.

  • Sports betting was legalized in Tennessee back in July of 2019.
  • Potential sportsbooks hope that betting can start before March Madness.
  • Some potential sportsbooks have concerns that Tennessee could be an uncompetitive market.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Lottery is ending the public comment period for proposed Tennessee sports betting rules on Monday.

A Nine-Month Process

Tennessee sports betting was formally legalized back in May of 2019.

TN HB 0001 allows for mobile sportsbooks to open up in the state. Tennessee will be the only state that has mobile wagering but no brick-and-mortar sportsbooks.

However, no sportsbooks have opened in the past nine months. The Tennessee Lottery is the group that will oversee sports wagering in the state. The Lottery has to create rules and regulations before sportsbooks can open. It is proving to be a lengthy process.

The Wagering Advisory Council started their first meetings back in November. Not too long after, the Tennessee Lottery allowed for public comments to be submitted. These comments give the public and potential TN sportsbook operators a chance to share their concerns about Tennessee sports betting. One group has major concerns over the 85 percent payout cap.

“It would be a poison pill. It would be so detrimental to a competitive marketplace that I’m afraid a lot of potential licensees like DraftKings, FanDuel [and] casinos would not even pay for a license. Because you’d have to offer lines and odds that are so not competitive that I think people would continue to bet with their local bookies, or off shore or fly to Vegas,” said Cal Spears, CEO for Better Collective TN.

The 85 percent payout cap was part of the legalization of Tennessee sports betting. Spears also said that he would submit a public comment about this payout cap.

Still More Work To Do

Now that the public comment period is over, there is still more work that the Tennessee Lottery needs to get done. They must now read through all the submitted comments and consider what the public has to say. Through this, the Lottery will decide on the official rules and regulations for this new form of gambling in the state.

Depending on the Tennessee Lottery, it could take some time before sports betting launches in the state. Some potential sportsbooks are hoping that sports betting can launch before March Madness.

After all, there is no sports betting in the state despite the fact that the Tennessee Titans are in the NFL playoffs. That is a missed opportunity for Tennessee sports betting, and the state will likely not want to miss out on more sports wagering traffic.

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