Tennessee online sports betting launching soon

The Volunteer State is preparing to make a big splash when Tennessee online sports betting launches in less than two weeks. At the end of this month, Tennessee will officially launch their online sports betting platforms for fans to bet on everything from NFL to college football and much more. The market has some unique characteristics that you’re unlikely to find replicated at any other sportsbook.

TN Sports Betting Market Takes Shape

Four companies have been given licenses for sports betting already. This list includes DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, and Tennessee Action 24/7.

Where things get interesting in Tennessee is that there is no limit on licenses. In other states, retail casinos are given licenses that are used to partner with online sportsbooks. 

For instance in NJ, FanDuel does not have a land-based casino, they must partner with a casino. FanDuel is partnered with the Meadowlands Casino and Racetrack in NJ. 

Since Tennessee does not have any land-based casinos, their rules are going to be extremely different. The answer to this problem is to have Tennessee’s lottery system take control. 

Now that the Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL) is in control of licensing and background checks, the new system will have eyeballs on it from across the country. 

Since Tennessee has no retail casinos, Tennessee has decided to not put limits on the number of licenses that can be distributed. 

A state like New York who has recently rejected the idea of online sports wagering because of limited retail casinos will surely be interested in this outcome. 

It will be a fascinating development over the next several months as Tennessee becomes one of the most aggressive sports betting states in the country. 

How Will Tennessee Decide Who Gets Licenses?

This odd set of circumstances has led Tennessee to a place where they could be a hotbed for sports betting. They will not be the only one, however. 

We have seen an all-out free for all in the state of Colorado. In Colorado, companies have been applying and granted licenses at a rapid pace. They were legalized for sports betting on May 1 and 15 companies have already been approved for a license and launched their

This odd set of circumstances has led Tennessee to a place where they could be a hotbed for sports betting. They will not be the only one, however. 

We have seen an all-out free for all in the state of Colorado. In Colorado, companies have been applying and granted licenses at a rapid pace. They were legalized for sports betting on May 1 and 15 companies have already applied for a license and launched their Colorado sports betting app.

While Colorado does have more lenient policies than others, they will still be significantly different than Tennessee. For instance, in Colorado, sportsbooks must partner with a retail casino. 

Tennessee not having that luxury forces them to pivot to their lottery team to handle this massive task. 

The comparison of Colorado to Tennessee is a good one, mostly because they could be the most saturated markets for sports betting in the country. When Tennessee launches, they will have 3 sportsbooks already prepared to enter the market. 

According to the TEL,  the process will only take 6 weeks to go through background checks and gain licensee status. 

This is something that Tennessee Action 24/7 has dealt with immediately. They will not be able to launch immediately as they are in week 3 of the 6-week background check policy. Expect them to launch a week or two after everyone else does. 

Furthermore, there are three unidentified sportsbooks that are in the process of getting a license. Tennessee could be hosting 7 sportsbooks by the end of 2020.

Will Sports Betting Actually Launch On Nov. 1?

November 1st this year lands on a Sunday. Can you imagine the inherent issues that would take place while fans prepare to place their bets on the Titans? The idea that this will launch on a Sunday seems like a troublesome task with the amount of traffic they would have. 

This issue will clearly be difficult to manage for Tennessee. During a last-minute conference call with the TEL they discussed the issue of starting on an NFL game day. 

Expect them to move the start date. Whether it will be Oct. 30 or Nov. 2 is unclear at this time. 

Tennessee Lottery CEO Rebecca Hargrove has even suggested launching a day or two before Sunday to avoid potential pitfalls. When asked about the potential changes she explained, “We are working diligently with all applicants as we establish and support a responsible and competitive sports wagering program in Tennessee.”

The TEL appears to be extremely committed to launching sports betting at the end of the month. With multiple ideas still floating around, expect Tennessee to avoid Sunday mayhem.

An interesting thought is to launch for a few hours prior to Sunday to get as many bets in as possible. Another option is to skip this Sunday altogether and move forward with Week 9 NFL action. 

Whatever date they choose, be sure to stay up to date here as we will have all of the latest launch date news and notes for Tennessee sports bettors!