At the same time the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation is moving forward with the regulation of online/mobile sportsbooks, it also made a move to bolster its traditional offerings.
The TELC, which debuted in 2004, and International Game Technology last week announced a two-year contract extension to mid-2027. Financial terms of the extension were not disclosed.
The TELC recorded more than $1.8 billion in gross sales in fiscal year 2019, according to a lottery report.
The state of Tennessee, home to no casinos, doesn’t allow the purchase of tickets over the internet, but it does have some services for players over the web. That includes an application to scan tickets and obtain other information about the games that can only be played by an in-person visit to a retailer. A small minority of the more than 40 lottery states allow gambling via the internet.
Tech upgrades under extension
Under the terms of the extension, IGT will upgrade the TELC’s online loyalty portal where players can register for a rewards program. The website will include several of IGT’s PlayLottery loyalty features. Per a presser, upgrades to the TELC’s mobile app pertain to features such as scanning instant and draw game tickets, checking jackpot amounts, learning how to play games, and finding the nearest retailer.
There’s also a retail component to the extension, as the TELC will receive new self-service vending machines, according to the presser.
“IGT has been a trusted and reliable partner to the [TELC], helping us significantly grow our operation and impact every step of the way since our inception in 2004,” said TELC CEO Rebecca Hargrove. “IGT provides unprecedented lottery expertise, and we’re excited to leverage its digital lottery knowledge in the overhaul of our loyalty website and mobile app, making them both more convenient and appealing for players.”
State of sports wagering
The TELC is expected to kick off sports wagering sometime later this year, as applications are in the works from companies interested in the market. Regulators recently adopted the rules for the industry.
Under the 2019 Sports Gaming Act, Tennessee lawmakers opted to put the TELC in charge of sports betting instead of creating a new state agency.
IGT isn’t expected to be involved with sports wagering in the Volunteer State.
Companies like FanDuel and DraftKings are expected to apply.
However, the TELC decided to implement a 90% fixed payout cap that many in the industry have criticized. The state is also charging a 20% tax on sportsbook revenue and a steep $750,000 annual licensing fee.
Relative to other newly legalized sports betting states such as Indiana, Tennessee’s market isn’t considered industry-friendly.