Sports betting fans in the state of Tennessee have been waiting on this day now for a while. Unfortunately, they’ll have to wait a little longer.
Monday was supposed to be the first day that mobile betting was legalized in The Volunteer State. However, the state is working on licensing rules and regulations, making these online sportsbooks not legally viable until perhaps next year.
The Tennessee General Assembly passed a bill in April, making online sports betting legal in the state. This does, though, prohibit brick-and-mortar sportsbooks from operating their own establishments within the state.
Tennessee is hoping to have the same type of success that New Jersey had in its first year of sports betting. The Garden State roped in over $3 billion in wagers taken and even topped Nevada this past month in overall revenue.
Regardless of whether online betting is available to the public, it’s going to happen. It’s just a matter of when.
“People are doing it anyway,” said Daniel Kustelski, CEO and co-founder of Chalkline Sports, which hails from Tennessee. “It’s really a function of whether or not the state to reap the rewards of the taxes. It’s about putting together rules and regulations in order to manage sports betting and protect the customers.”
While Tennessee residents might not be able to legally place bets just yet, it’s important to look at all of the rules going forward. For starters, you’ll need to be at least 21 years of age and be physically present within The Volunteer State’s borders. Of course, people who can impact the outcome of a game and professional athletes are prohibited from taking part.
Like most of the other states that have online sportsbooks, Tennessee will also have geo-location tracking to ensure you’re within the state’s borders.
DraftKings and FanDuel will be looking to be put their footprint in Tennessee, which just hosted the NFL Draft in Nashville. Not to mention, Nashville is a great tourist area and legalized sports betting would add on to the already-booming business that it has.
According to the records from the Tennessee Ethics Commission, both DraftKings and FanDuel had lobbyists registered this year in the state.
Tennessee will collect a 20 percent tax with the adjusted gross income of having a licensee. 80 percent of the tax revenue will go into the state’s “lottery for education account,” with 15 percent going toward local governments and infrastructure projects, while five percent will end up going to the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to help people if they develop a gambling addiction.
There’s no specific date on when mobile sports betting will be up and running. According to an analysis from the General Assembly Fiscal Review Committee in April, it states, “Due to the effective date of this legislation, it is assumed that sports gaming will not commence and be available to bettors until January 1, 2020.”
“Sometimes, people hear that it is legal and so they think that every product on the internet where they can wager on sports is legal, but that’s simply not the case,” said Kustelski.