The Tennessee Titans

  • Sports betting rules in Tennessee have been approved after months of its initial legalization.
  • TN sports betting license applications will be made available next week.
  • There is a 90 percent payout cap on Tennessee sports betting winnings.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – On Wednesday, the Tennessee Lottery board finally voted to approve TN sports betting rules and regulations. One of those rules includes a controversial 90% payout cap.

It has been a few months since Tennessee sports betting has been initially approved. Sports betting in the state was made legal in June of 2019. At the time, Tennessee became the first state to approve sports betting that was online only.

Now that the legal sports betting rules and regulations have been approved, potential sportsbooks can apply for a license. The Tennessee Lottery will be the ones regulating and overseeing the sports betting industry.

A Payout Cap

Tennessee continues to regulate sports betting differently than other states. One of the rules that have been approved for sports betting in Tennessee is a payout cap. For all sports bet payouts in Tennessee, there will be a 90 percent payout cap.

“Lt. Governor McNally believes a 90 percent cap is fair, equitable and in the state’s best interest,” said Adam Kleinheider, Tennessee LT. Governor Randy McNally’s spokesman.

The point of the sports betting payout cap is to guarantee that there will be a profit for the state. Sports betting is taxed by the state and that taxable revenue goes into various government programs. If players win all their money, then the sportsbook does not keep any and the state cannot tax it.

To prevent that, a sports betting cap has been implemented, guaranteeing that the state will tax some amount of sports betting revenue.

However, this is a direct hit to those who are betting on sports. People like Jennifer Roberts who is now overseeing the sports betting program in the Lottery has concerns over the cap. She believes to be fully competitive against offshore sports betting, having no cap is better. But Roberts also says that if there should be a cap, it should be at 95 percent, not 90 percent.

But there is a chance that the cap can be raised after the first year of sports betting. If Tennessee wants to remain competitive in the sports betting market, so a cap raise may need to happen sooner than later. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is unknown when sports betting will begin in Tennessee.

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