lottery

$27M in online wagers placed in first week of Tennessee sports gaming

Bettors placed $27 million worth of wagers in the first week after the launch of only sports gambling in Tennessee.

Tennessee Lottery head Rebecca Hargrove said Monday that sportsbooks paid out $23.9 million, leaving them with an adjusted gross income of $2.5 million for the period covering Nov. 1 through Nov. 8. The state’s tax on that amount totaled $509,000.

Of those tax collections, 80% will be deposited into the Lottery’s education account, 15% goes to cities and counties on a per-capita basis, and 5% is dedicated to gambling addiction treatment programs within the state Department of Mental Health.

Most of the betting action has focused on football, with 60% of wagers placed on the NFL and 40% on college games.

Four sportsbooks are operational in Tennessee: BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Tennessee Action 24/7. Hargrove said three more are in the process of applying and hoping to get up and running by the end of the year: Churchill Downs, William Hill, and WIN Interactive.

One minute past midnight: Online sports gambling kicks off in Tennessee on Sunday

Tennessee’s sports gaming program goes live at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday. The state has approved four sportsbooks to begin taking online wagers within state boundaries: BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Tennessee Action 24/7.

Here’s a release from the Tennessee Lottery detailing the final approval:

NASHVILLE—The Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL) today announced final approval for online sports betting in Tennessee to begin on Sunday, November 1, at 12:01 a.m. Central Time.

At that time, authorized licensees can begin taking wagers from customers at least 21 years old and physically located in Tennessee at the time the wager is placed.

All four operators are close to being ready to launch Sunday. Three have completed all requirements to launch. The fourth is currently in the field for system testing, which is scheduled to be completed tomorrow, October 31.

“This Sunday will represent the culmination of an enormous amount of work and due diligence to bring online-only sports wagering to Tennessee, the only state in the nation to do so,” TEL President and CEO Rebecca Paul Hargrove said. “As the regulator, today also represents the beginning of a new stage as we establish and support a responsible and competitive program here. We will continue to work with all licensees, registrants and applicants to protect the consumer, promote fairness in sports and regulate this new Tennessee industry that provides critical funds to the state and local governments.”

Tennessee state law permits wagering on sporting events via the internet, mobile device or other telecommunications platforms. The TEL is responsible for the licensing and regulation of online sports wagering in Tennessee.

The TEL serves as the regulator of sports wagering in Tennessee and does not serve as an operator, in accordance with the law.

Speakers seek delay of sports gambling in Tennessee amid questions about draft rules

Senate Speaker Randy McNally and House Speaker Cameron Sexton await Gov. Bill Lee’s arrival for his second State of the State address in Nashville on Feb. 3, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Legislative leaders want the Tennessee Lottery to delay the approval of sports gambling rules. Senate Speaker Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) and House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) wrote in a letter to Lottery Chair Susan Lanigan on Friday that some of the draft rules are outside the scope of the gaming law passed last year.

Here is the text of the letter:

Dear Ms. Lanigan,
We would respectfully request that the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation Board of Directors and the Sports Wagering Advisory Council delay voting on the rules to implement the “Tennessee Sports Gaming Act.”

There have been concerns brought to our attention that some of the rules, as drafted, may be outside the authority given to the Board or Council pursuant to the “Tennessee Sports Gaming Act.” For example, there is concern that the additional categories of licenses created within the rules aren’t within the scope or authority of the Board or Council under the “Tennessee Sports Gaming Act.” Specifically, the Sports Pool Intermediary License and the Vendor License, and associated fees, are not authorized in the Act.

Please feel free to contact our office with any questions you have regarding this letter,

Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,

/signed/
Lt. Governor Randy McNally, Speaker Cameron Sexton

Bipartisan bill would restrict TN lottery advertising

News release from Rep. Andy Holt

NASHVILLE, Feb. 8, 2017– On Wednesday, Tennessee State Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) introduced legislation that targets, what he calls, predatory marketing tactics from the Tennessee Lottery.

“Last month, I raised concern over the way lottery commercials were being used in predatory ways to target Tennessee’s most economically vulnerable citizens by encouraging them to purchase lottery tickets rather than life sustaining goods such as food,” says Holt. “I have, very publicly, asked the Tennessee Lottery to ensure me (and the countless Tennesseans who are upset over these practices) that they would no longer run these types of ads. When the media asked them for comment, they had nothing to say, and they’ve said nothing to me. So, now we’re introducing bi-partisan legislation to put an end to these damaging ads.”

(Note: It’s HB633, though apparently a caption bill subject to change later.)

Holt notes research that highlights the fact that these ads target economically disadvantaged and minorities, which he says is shameful.
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