With just over a month before sports betting is set to go live, the Sports Wagering Committee has announced the first three Tennessee sports betting operators to be granted licenses.
When sports betting goes live in Tennessee on November 1, bettors will be able to place bets at BetMGM, DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. Those three operators were approved by the Sports Wagering Committee, to receive online-only sports betting licenses.
“The staff at the Tennessee Lottery performed a tremendous amount of work and due diligence to prepare us for these decisions today,” Board Chair Susan Lanigan said in a release. “We appreciate their efforts as we work to establish and support a responsible and competitive sports wagering program in Tennessee.”
Will there be more Tennessee sports betting operators?
BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel may have been the first three operators granted licenses in Tennessee, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be the only betting options on November 1. The Sports Wagering Committee is also scheduled to meet on October 5 and October 16 to consider and potentially announce other sports betting license applications.
Tennessee’s low threshold to launch an online sportsbook makes it likely that several other operators will try and launch in the state. There is no cap on the number of licenses the state can issue, the license fee is only $750,000 per year, and operators also pay a 20 per cent privilege tax.
One negative for operators setting up shop in Tennessee is a hold requirement they must adhere to. Tennessee is the only state with regulated sports betting to institute a hold requirement that forces operators to have at least a 10 percent hold. Any operator that does not meet the requirement could face fines.
It was a long haul between Tennessee legalizing online sports betting and finally getting to launch day on November 1. Sports betting became legal in Tennessee in May, 2019 but thanks to lengthy infighting over rules and regulations and other delays nearly 18 months will have passed between legalization and the first bets being placed. During that time six other states lapped Tennessee and launched sports betting faster.