William Hill, which launched in Tennessee in March, made the mistake of offering player prop bets on a college game and subsequently took the bets down.
According to The Tennessee Journal, the sportsbook offered wagers on individual player performances for the March 30 NCAA tournament regional final match-up between USC and Gonzaga. It appears other college props were available, but TNJ posted a screen shot from that one game.
The Tennessee Lottery, which regulates sports betting, issued the following statement to the media outlet: “There’s a process in place for violations, and we will follow that process. This matter is under review, however, prop bets on college players are not permitted. The operator has taken those down, and any wagers placed have been voided by the operator.”
It is unclear if the TNJ spotted the banned wagers itself or if it was alerted to them from someone unaffiliated with the media outlet.
College props are allowed in some other states, so it appears William Hill, based out of the United Kingdom, just didn’t tailor its software for the Tennessee market.
It’s unclear if William Hill will be subject to a fine for the violation, but that would appear likely.
What the law says
The rules could not be clearer on the wagers that William Hill offered and then took down.
The 2019 Sports Gaming Act in Tennessee bans bets on: “Individual actions, events, statistics, occurrences, or non-occurrences to be determined during a collegiate sporting event, including, without limitation, in-game proposition bets on the performance or non-performance of a team or individual participant during a collegiate sporting event.”
With the statute in hand, the Lottery crafted regulations to prohibit the bets.
Including Tennessee, William Hill is live in 17 of the 21 states and jurisdictions that currently offer legalized sports betting.
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