The upcoming Tennessee online/mobile sports betting industry has a launch on the horizon, as Tennessee Education Lottery officials made clear last week that the first digital sportsbooks would launch before Nov. 1, hopefully during an ongoing NFL season with Tennessee Titans games.
The idea is to have all operators, including FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM, kick off wagering on the same day. The state is eyeing a Colorado-esque synchronized launch, but it is possible Tennessee will end up with a staggered one like in the state of Indiana. It depends on the respective launch timelines for each sportsbook, as the lottery won’t let the market stall because of one book.
In addition to licensing various firms to serve as sports gaming operators, the TEL has also approved vendors that provide various services to the sportsbooks and/or the lottery for the implementation of sports wagering.
The list of approved vendors was recently updated from four entities to more than 20. Vendors approved include companies involved with marketing and payment services. The list is expected to continually expand, as Indiana has a vendor list that includes dozens of entities.
Tennessee has three levels of approval: a sports gaming operator license, a supplier registration, and a vendor registration. Suppliers are considered a form of vendor, according to the Tennessee sports betting regulations. Unlike a vendor, a supplier typically has “direct interface or interaction with” a sports bettor’s account or a sportsbook’s platform.
Here are the entities already approved as vendors in the Volunteer State’s early sports betting market, as listed on the TEL’s website.
- 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
Disclosure: TN Bets is part of Better Collective Tennessee.
Who has to file as a vendor?
The Tennessee sports betting regulations state that any person who provides “non-material or general goods or services indirect to the conduct of Interactive Sports Gaming shall not be required to obtain Registration as a Vendor” within the state of Tennessee.
That applies unless the vendor receives payment or compensation that is either:
- tied to player activity
- in excess of 1% of the handle of any sportsbook
- a percentage of adjusted gross income of any sportsbook of 5% or more
- in excess of $500,000 in a one-year period for goods and services relating to interactive sports gaming in the state of Tennessee
The regulations spell out that the following entities wouldn’t be required to register as a vendor, unless determined otherwise by the TEL regulators:
- media or advertising platforms or channels, such as social media, search engines, billboards, print or digital media, or television or radio
- contractors with sportsbooks for brand sponsorships and promotions
- insurance companies and insurance agencies
- professional legal, accounting, and financial service providers
- utility and telecommunication companies
- nonprofit charitable corporations or organizations, provided no consideration is received for the contribution
- professional entertainers and/or celebrity promoters
In Indiana, a firm like Google is a sports betting registrant. It doesn’t have to be in Tennessee.