Lottery CEO: Tennessee sports betting to start by Nov. 1
Published 9:43 am Thursday, August 20, 2020
NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Lottery’s leader expects the state’s first sportsbooks under its online-only sports betting law to go live no later than Nov. 1.
At a board meeting Wednesday, Lottery President and CEO Rebecca Hargrove said four operators have submitted completed applications to date. She said their financial info has been sent to a third-party vendor and she hopes background checks will be completed by middle September.
“At this point, I’m pleased to tell you we’ll start no later than Nov. 1, and potentially a week or two ahead of that if we can get all of the background checks back from the folks who have them,” Hargrove said.
The operators’ applications have not come before the board for consideration yet.
Tennessee’s sports betting law passed the GOP-led Legislature narrowly in spring 2019. Republican Gov. Bill Lee let it become law without his signature, citing concerns over an expansion of gambling in Tennessee, a state without casinos. The law took effect last July but left many regulatory specifics up to the Lottery.
Lottery officials signed off on sports betting rules in April, then began accepting applications for sportsbook operators and related vendors. Some vendors have already received approval.