Tennessee sports betting is scheduled to launch on its planned date of November 1 but it may even launch two days before that date.
The Tennessee Education Lottery held a special meeting last week to address some last-minute housekeeping issues ahead of the launch. It is not unusual to hold such meetings before a launch. What was surprising was the content of the meeting, which left many confused about the proceedings. For hours, the officials delved into technical details like how certain states’ sports betting regulations are worded to improve how Tennessee’s legislation was written.
November 1 D-Day
The launch will coincide with an NFL Sunday, the week’s busiest day for sportsbooks at this time of the year. However, surprisingly, it is still not clear when Tennessee sports betting apps will actually go live in the state. Considering the November 1 launch date amid a tumultuous NFL betting Sunday, it has to be a smooth process if going to be at all successful.
Lottery CEO Rebecca Hargrave suggested operators go live for a few hours each day leading up to the official launch date in order to get any issues ironed out. By doing so, sportsbooks will not be overwhelmed on the first day with NFL bets coming in.
A special meeting was also arranged to finalize some rules and regulations set in place, making sure the terms are up to par ahead of the D-Day.
What Options Could Tennessee Bettors Have?
Last month, Tennessee authorities confirmed that DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM were granted sports betting licenses and will launch in November. Another local sportsbook, Tennessee Action 24/7, is also expected to launch operations, but the authorities are putting bottlenecks on its progress.
This is because its sports betting supplier, Amelco, has not obtained its license. Amelco applied for the sports betting license on September 23 and has been seeking approval since. According to reports, it takes TEL around six weeks to proceed and verify the application. So, Amelco is expected to be approved in the first week of November.
This procedural delay is likely to put Tennessee Action 24/7 into a disadvantageous position. DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM are the three biggest names in US sports betting, and residents will surely flock to them rather than waiting around to sign-up with Tennessee Action 24/7. Therefore, it will be interesting to see how the home-grown operator will compete against these giants.
Aside from competing against established names, Tennessee Action 24/7 also faces other challenges. The sportsbook, who was launched by the owner of a payday loan company, is offering a $10 welcome bonus. But both DraftKings and FanDuel are giving $50 bonuses for Tennessee residents signing up for their sports betting accounts ahead of their apps’ launch.
On top of these four operators, there are also three other unnamed sportsbooks seeking licenses. However, they also are unlikely to hit the November 1 launch date.
What Needs to be Done Ahead of the Launch?
Though the November launch has been finalized, there are certain things that authorities need to ensure in order for a seamless process. Mainly, the state should allow the sportsbook to operate a few days before the actual date. It will help both the betting operators and the state to ensure everything is running smoothly ahead of NFL Sunday. Also, the test-launch will ensure there is no betting site crashing on the D-day or issues where people cannot bet.
Despite being a smaller player, Tennessee Action 24/7 may surprise the state industry as the wild card if it does launch in time.
It should be noted that the Tennessee sports betting could go live even sooner than the planned date. According to TEL Committee, it could go live on Friday, October 30, instead of Sunday in order to provide NFL enthusiasts enough time to sign up and place their bets before NFL Week 7 games.