New TN Sports Betting Regulator Holds First Meeting After Governor Signs Legislation

Tennessee made some recent changes to its sports betting regulations, putting control in the hands of a Sports Wagering Advisory Council, which relieved the Tennessee Education Lottery of the duties.

The process of transferring regulatory duties is ongoing. On Tuesday, the council held what looked to be its first meeting as essentially a standalone body. Lottery officials will still provide input when needed.

Unlike previous regulatory meetings, there was no phone access for the public to Tuesday’s meeting.

The agenda for the council’s meeting contained items that appeared mostly to continue the transfer of regulatory responsibility. The state is still in the process of allowing additional mobile sportsbooks to launch. There are currently seven in the state.

Bill signed by governor

Late last week, Gov. Bill Lee signed legislation to reverse the sports betting regulatory duties between the Lottery and the council. The 2019 Sports Gaming Act resulted in the creation of the nine-member council under the Lottery, which has been around since the early 2000s.

The changes should be of benefit to the sports betting consumer over the long run, as Tennessee now has shifted duties away from the Lottery, which has its hands full with its core offering of a traditional lottery. The Volunteer State allows online sports betting but not online lottery play.

Sports betting launched in Tennessee in November. Through April, $1,077,693,000 had been bet legally in the state, making it one of the fastest-growing markets in the U.S.