Tennessee Could Have Live Sports Betting By July
Tennessee Sports Betting

Sports Betting May Go Live in Tennessee As Early As July

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Despite a restrictive legal framework that has been under fire from industry pundits, legal sports betting is on the books in Tennessee, with the first bets expected to be placed as early as July 2020. While most sporting events remain suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, states such as Tennessee are advancing their sports betting initiatives with an eye toward the future.

The wait for legal sports betting has been a long one for sports fans in the Volunteer State. That wait may soon be over as sports betting advances in Tennessee. The first bets could be placed on sports as early as July, if there are sports being played this Summer.

Tennessee's sports betting laws were highly scrutinized by proponents of the sports betting industry, who felt that the framework was too aggressive on fees that inhibits operators' ability to offer competitive value to their customers.

Among concerns voiced by the industry was a $750,000 licensing associated with becoming a licensed sports betting operator in Tennessee. Combined with a 20% tax on betting revenues, the licensing fee in Tennessee is among the highest in the country. Illinois (20 million) and Pennsylvania (10 million) are the extreme upper end of the spectrum, while most states offer sports betting licenses for $100,000 or less.

Perhaps the most controversial rule under Tennessee's sports betting laws is that player winnings are capped at 90% of the original bet. This effectively makes Tennessee the only state in the country to mandate by law that sportsbooks generate a minimum hold of 10%. This ultimately leads to poor value from the consumer and makes it possible for illicit black market betting operations to offer better pricing than their legal counterparts.

All of that aside, most people in Tennessee will tell you that any legal sports betting, despite it's bureaucracies, is a welcomed addition to the state's economy. Most residents of the state are eager to be able to place legal sports bets for the first time, and they may not have to wait long. The Action Network reported that legal sports betting could go live in Tennessee as early as this July.

The availability to bet on sports hinges on having sports to bet on. Most major sports are still suspending due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. There is no way to know whether or not any sports will be played this Summer, but if they are, the people of Tennessee will be able to bet on it.

In addition to retail sports betting inside casinos, Tennessee will also offer mobile sports betting. The mobile betting provisions allow residents to place a bet from anywhere within the state. Generally speaking, states that allow mobile sports betting see far greater earnings than states who do not offer mobile betting. This could be the boost that causes the state to relax some of the requirements that have already proven to be a hot topic.

While the state could conceivably raise the [90%] cap at some point in the future, it would be difficult to lower once expectations were set,” a spokesperson for Lt. Gov. Randy McNally told the AP.

The state is scheduled to reassess the sports betting rules after one year to compare actual economic impact to what the original intentions were. The 90% cap could be raised at that time, allowing sportsbooks to offer more favorable odds to the customer, but until then, let's just me thankful that betting in Tennessee has arrived.


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