All Systems Go for Tennessee

As Tennessee gears up for the launch of legal sports betting, one of the final hurdles ahead of the new market has been cleared with the news that all of the operators, suppliers, and vendors who have applied to serve the new market have had their licenses cleared. 

Both sports betting company Amelco and betting data firm Swish Analytics have now received their licenses, thanks to a meeting of the Sports Wagering Committee meeting ahead of the launch of the new market on November 1. In addition, it has been reported that a further seven companies, including ID verification firms and affiliates, have received their licenses. 

That meeting is expected to be the last before the opening day of the new sports betting market on November 1, although it has also been reported that the four licensed operators: BetMGM, FanDuel Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook, and Tennessee Action 24/7 may opt to go live at an earlier point to allow for customer sign-ups. 

Go Live Pitfalls

According to reports from the local media, three of those operators: FanDuel, BetMGM and

DraftKings will be able to go live from the launch date without any difficulties, as they have completed the launch checklists necessary before offering bets, although the fact that November 1 is a big NFL betting Sunday may complicate the launch process. 

The exception is Tennessee Action 24/7. This operator is launching for the first time, and reports suggest that it has had some difficulties obtaining the necessary levels of business insurance. All companies serving the Tennessee sports betting market are required to have both Errors and Omissions and General Commercial Liability insurance totaling $20 million. 

Long Time Coming

It has certainly been a long wait for sports betting fans in the state to finally be able to bet on their favorite sports. The journey started in May 2019, a full year after the Supreme Court struck down the 1992 PASPA Act, paving the way for legal sports betting. That was the month in which Governor Bill Lee allowed sports betting to pass into law in the state. 

But the process since then has been hampered by delay. It wasn’t until September 2019 that the overseeing Sports Wagering Advisory Council was fully appointed, and it took them another two months to produce their first regulatory draft. That draft itself proved to be controversial due to its relatively high proposed ‘hold’ figure of 10%, and not until August 2020 did the Council get round to confirm a start date for the market. A month later, three operators, DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM, were confirmed as applicants for betting licenses. 

Last-Minute Changes

The delays and confusion have continued up until the last minute, with the Committee involved in long discussions over the exact terminology used in the regulations. On a more significant note, the rules involving insurance were tweaked, allowing operators to make compensation for any lack in their insurance coverage. Whether this will be enough to help Tennessee Action 24/7 be ready in time remains to be seen as the changes have yet to be agreed by the Tennessee Lottery

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