Governor Bill Lee

  • Governor Bill Lee signed SB 588 into law, switching sports betting regulations from the Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL) to the Sports Wagering Advisory Council (SWAC).
  • The TEL has had issues with sports betting since its launch.
  • The official switch will kick in on Jan 1, 2022.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Sports betting in Tennessee will be changing regulators after Governor Bill Lee officially signed off on SB 588.

What the bill does is transfers the Tennessee sports betting regulatory authority from the Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL) over to the Sports Wagering Advisory Council (SWAC).

This comes following multiple issues the TEL has faced, mainly the poor handling of the Action 24/7 controversy.

Tennessee Sports Betting

This will not be a major change for local betting fans, as Tennessee sportsbooks will run the same. The change mainly affects who is in charge of overseeing the state’s legal sports betting market.

SB 588 officially takes regulated sports betting from the TEL. The SWAC is a new department still being formed and their primary focus will be sports betting.

While the SWAC won’t officially take over until January 1st, 2022, the TEL will be working with them for the remainder of the year to lead to a smooth transition. The TEL may be eager to have sports betting removed from its plate. During the first year of the Tennessee market, TEL dealt with the major Action 24/7 issue.

Action 24/7 was accused of fraud and given an indefinite suspension by the TEL. The sportsbook viewed their suspension as unjust, leading to a lawsuit which ultimately resulted in Action 24/7 being reinstated.

The reason for the reinstatement is that the TEL did not suspend Action 24/7 properly. Due to this error, Nashville Chancellor Patricia Moskal ruled that the TEL cannot pursue punitive measures against Action 24/7. This essentially resulted in Action 24/7 getting off scot-free from the fraud allegations without a proper hearing able to take place. The TEL is looking to fully focus on the local lottery, leaving sports betting matters in the hands of a department that is built directly for sports betting.

Tennessee lawmakers are hoping that this will lead to a better-run market.

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