Tennessee lawmaker Rep. Rick Staples has finally given a timeline for the launch of the state’s sports betting industry. Sports betting was legalized in May when Governor Bill Lee let the bill become law through inaction. Since then, it’s taken some time to get the ball rolling. Staples told local media that the government will start accepting license applications within a month, and by March, gamblers will be able to place bets.
Tennessee is in a unique situation. It doesn’t have any land-based casinos and it won’t offer any physical sports betting stations. All sports betting will be done online or on mobile, and it’s the only state to offer only this option.
Staples commented, “Being that Tennessee is the first to roll out online interactive and mobile, we want to make sure that we’re rolling out a good product and taking our time to get all the bugs and the kinks worked out.”
While Tennessee will be the only state to offer online/mobile sports betting without land-based stations, there is no reason why the industry should suffer. In New Jersey, one of the two leading states when it comes to sports betting, more than 80% of sports betting revenue is from online wagers. That’s good news for Tennessee.
While sports betting, in general, has been legalized, the details still need to be ironed out. According to a new analysis from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, Tennessee will lose millions of tax dollars if it imposes a 15% minimum hold requirement on operators, which the current draft calls for. 15% figure is about double the average hold rate in New Jersey and nearly three times the long-term Nevada hold.
If Staples envisions sports betting being up and running by March, this is a crucial detail that needs to be figured out.