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Tennessee Sports Betting Poised To Launch On, Or Maybe Before Nov. 1

The Tennessee Education Lottery met this week to discuss the final steps before launching sports betting in the state, including a potential soft-launch.

Like the Tennessee Titans urgently executing a two-minute drill, the Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL) has been moving quickly as of late.

The TEL’s Sports Wagering Committee continues to target the launch of Tennessee’s first online sports betting sites by Nov. 1 — or even before. Reaching the end zone by then, however, has required pinning down some last-minute details.

Two Sports Wagering Committee meetings in the past two weeks have settled a few pertinent items. The committee’s recent actions include:

  • Identifying which sports bettors will be able to wager on
  • Designating what types of betting on collegiate sports will be allowed
  • Approving licenses
  • Determining which sportsbooks will be the first to launch

What sports can you bet on in Tennessee?

Committee members raised a number of issues at last Friday’s meeting, with several left unsettled. However, at that meeting, they did finalize the list of approved events for sports wagering in the state.

The committee approved a list of 27 sports, including identifying different leagues and tours for many.

As expected, the list includes popular sports like basketball, baseball, football, and hockey.

The list also includes other sports that don’t always show up among sportsbooks’ offerings, such as bowling, bull riding, rowing, sailing, and skiing.

Also included are eSports, although the TEL will require sportsbooks to obtain pre-approval before taking bets on any eSports leagues or matches.

Here is the full list of sports on which Tennessee sportsbooks may accept wagers:

 

The committee also notes that the list of approved sports is subject to change.

What types of betting on collegiate sports will be allowed?

The Oct. 16 meeting included a discussion of college sports and what sorts of restrictions might be placed on wagering. However, that issue was left unresolved, so when the TEL reconvened on Oct. 22, they finally made some decisions.

When it comes to college sports, proposition wagers or prop bets on individual athletes are not allowed. In other words, no betting on how many touchdown passes Volunteers QB Jarrett Guarantano throws.

Also prohibited are in-game wagers on prop bets in college games. That includes both player props and team props. Thus, when Tennessee plays Auburn in late November, you will not be able to place a live bet on whether or not the Volunteers’ ongoing third-quarter drive will end in a score.

However, in-game wagering/live betting that does not involve player or team props is allowed. This would appear to mean you could place a moneyline or point spread bet on an adjusted line at halftime of the VolsTigers game.

There does remain some ambiguity, however, regarding pre-game prop bets on collegiate sports.

To sum up:

  • Individual prop bets on college players are not allowed.
  • Live or in-game prop bets on college games are not allowed.
  • In-game wagers that are not props on college games are allowed.

What sports betting licenses have been approved in Tennessee?

The committee approved 17 more vendor licenses at the Oct. 16 meeting. They approved another seven vendor licenses yesterday.

That pushes the overall total number of approved vendors to over 70. Having such vendors locked in will be of great benefit to the sportsbooks when they launch, helping with all aspects of their operation.

On Thursday, the operator Action 24/7 finally had its sports wagering provider Amelco UK Ltd. approved. However, Amelco’s official GLI certification is still pending. Another data analytics company connected with Amelco, Swish Analytics Tennessee, Inc., also had its supplier license approved.

Along with Action 24/7, there are three other operators with licenses to operate in Tennessee.

The full list of approved operators and vendors can be found here.

Which Tennessee online sportsbooks will be launching Nov. 1 (or before)?

Yesterday’s news means Action 24/7, the lone, local Tennessee sportsbook, will likely be ready to rumble by the targeted start date.

The TEL had already conditionally approved three other operators. The four online sportsbooks poised to begin accepting bets once given the go-ahead are:

  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • BetMGM
  • Action 24/7

Regulators sounded relatively confident at yesterday’s meeting that operators will be able to go live by Sunday, Nov. 1.

There was also discussion of a possible “soft launch” on Oct. 28 (W) or Oct. 29 (Th). Opening things early could allow bettors to set up accounts ahead of time and/or give operators a chance to test their platforms before making their full betting slate live.

The TEL suggested there would be no need to meet again before the next scheduled meeting in mid-November. In any event, the next week should be interesting as Tennesseeans anxiously anticipate the chance to make their first legal sports wagers.

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