Tennessee Sports Betting to Launch by November 1

Published September 8, 2020 by Elana K

Tennessee Sports Betting to Launch by November 1

Tennessee plans to have legal online sports betting operations up by November 1.

Tennessee is gunning to be the next state to legalize sports betting, which would bring the total to 18 states with the U.S. Operations will be overseen by the Tennessee Education Lottery and there is a projected launch date of November 1. Tennessee sports betting will be different than other states since it has no land-based casinos and will offer only mobile sports betting. Legislation to legalize sports betting was passed in May 2019, so the launch of operations is long overdue.

Lottery President and CEO Rebecca Hargrove commented, “At this point, I’m pleased to tell you we’ll start no later than Nov. 1, and potentially a week or two ahead of that if we can get all of the background checks back from the folks who have them.”

The background checks refer to the 4 operators that have already applied for licensing, at $750,000 per application. Tennessee sports betting operators will be taxed at 20%, which is considered fairly high. New Jersey, for example, levies a 13% tax on online sports betting, Nevada a 6.5% tax, Indiana a 9.5% tax, and most others somewhere between 10-15%. The high tax may act as a deterrent for potential operators.

State regulators have also capped the annual payout percentage of operators at 90%, which means a 10% will be enforced. Operators that don’t keep a 10% hold can be slapped with fines and license suspensions. The 10% hold is problematic and may be another factor in the slow launch of the market. 

However, at least 4 applications have been submitted, and bettors expect BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Tennessee Action 24/7 to be among the first sites to launch. Tennessee Action 24/7 will be the state’s local sports betting app.


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