With a Nov. 1 launch date on the horizon, the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation on Wednesday gave its stamp of conditional approval to three firms looking to serve as sports gambling operators in the state. It marked a major milestone for Tennessee sports betting.
Sportsbooks from Betfair Interactive US LLC, d/b/a FanDuel; BetMGM, LLC; and Crown TN Gaming, LLC, d/b/a DraftKings, received conditional licenses to commence sports wagering once given the final green light. It’s expected all three will launch on the same day.
None of the firms will have a retail sportsbook in Tennessee, as the market is confined to the internet.
A fourth firm, the fledgling Tennessee Action 24/7, not yet live in any state, hasn’t yet received a conditional license, but it has completed an application. A fifth company has started an application, but it likely won’t be ready to launch until sometime in early 2021.
There is no cap on the number of sports gaming operators in Tennessee. During the legislative process in 2019, it was anticipated that the state would see around 10 operators. For context, Indiana, which launched online/mobile sports betting in October 2019, currently has eight mobile books. It will take time for the Volunteer State’s market to expand to its full potential, expected to generate annual sports gaming win of about $250 million annually. The state will receive a piece of that.
A sports gaming operator license in Tennessee costs $750,000 annually.
“The staff at the Tennessee Lottery performed a tremendous amount of work and due diligence to prepare us for these decisions today,” TELC Board Chair Susan Lanigan said. “We appreciate their efforts as we work to establish and support a responsible and competitive sports wagering program in Tennessee.”
Nov. 1 is a Sunday, and the Tennessee Titans play the Bengals in Cincinnati that day. It’s unclear whether Tennessee will go with a soft launch in order to have the sportsbooks open for a few days before an action-packed day of wagering on their apps.
Suppliers, vendors also approved
The TELC on Wednesday also approved its first supplier application and 26 additional vendor applications and announced follow-up meetings Oct. 5 and Oct. 16 to take up more applications and review additional information from licensees before the intended Nov. 1 go-live date.
Below are the approved vendors:
- Flick Inc. dba Flick Chat
- Catena Operations Limited
- Mark Knight
- Sports Betting ST, LLC
- Media Players US, LLC
- PXP Financial Inc.
- Better Collective USA, Inc.
- Better Collective Florida, LLC
- Wedge Traffic
- Awesomo.com, LLC
- BetterThanYou Inc.
- Better Collective Tennessee, LLC
- Finder Media B.V.
- PopOdds Inc. dba abe
- The Action Network
- Optimove Inc.
- Global Payments Gaming Services Inc.
- Chive Media Group, LLC
- PayNearMe MT, Inc.
- Splash Technology Ltd dba Swipe
- Paysafe Merchant Services Corp.
- Rarefied Atmosphere Inc. dba Atmosphere TV, Chive TV
- McMahan, Winstead & Richardson LLC
“We will continue to work with all parties involved to protect the consumer, promote fairness in sports, and regulate this new Tennessee industry that provides critical funds to the state and local governments,” TELC President and CEO Rebecca Hargrove said in a statement.