Two Tennessee sports betting bills are back on the legislative calendar this week.

  • Tennessee sports betting became legal in June 2019.
  • The Tennessee Sports Wagering Council was formed to help the state lottery regulate sports betting but the two sides have been at odds.
  • Tennessee House Bill 2844 would give the Council more authority to regulate the new industry.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – While sports betting in Tennessee was legalized in June of 2019, the industry has yet to launch. Two bills are back on the table this year which aim to help the regulatory process of online sportsbooks in Tennessee. These tweaks to the 2019 Sports Gaming Act could help the rollout process.

The first of these bills is TN HB 2844 which would work to give the Tennessee Sports Wagering Council more authority to regulate sports wagering in the Volunteer State.

The Council is comprised of legislators and industry stakeholders. It was formed to help the Tennessee Education Lottery Commission (TELC) launch the nation’s first ever online-only sports betting marketplace. However, the Council and the Lottery have been at odds over certain factors such as the infamous 90% payout cap.

The Council was against the payout cap, but since they are technically underneath the Lottery in the chain of command, they had to comply.

The amount of power granted to the Council should this bill be passed might be figured out in its next hearing on Thursday with the Departments and Agencies Subcommittee.

The second of the two Tennessee sports betting bills is House Bill 2604. This piece of legislation would force the TELC to follow particular diversity requirements when forming partnerships with third-parties.

This bill has the support of a dozen sponsors and is set to be heard on Wednesday.

Will These Bills Affect TN Sports Betting Launch?

It should be noted that the status of these two bills doesn’t seem to have an immediate effect on the rollout of Tennessee sports betting sites and mobile apps.

The TELC still plans to have the first of these platforms go live later this Summer. The Lottery has already begun to accept applications from interested legal sports betting providers even with the harsh entry fees they have set for them.

Costs such as a $750,000 license fee would be charged annually to these businesses. To add to this they would have to pay a 20% tax rate on their revenue.

But, given the total state population, the number of in-state sports teams, and the state’s passion for sports, the market appears to be lucrative anyways. As the market grows, legislators are hoping the Tennessee Sports Wagering Council could have a bigger hand in helping it grow.

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