Tennessee Set to Launch Legalized Online Sports Betting by Nov. 1

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Tennessee won’t be without legal online sports betting for much longer.

After an initial September launch date got pushed back, the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation said online sports betting should launch in the state by Nov. 1 — or potentially even sooner.

“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,” Lottery president and CEO Rebecca Hargrove told WKRN-TV in Nashville.

Sports betting was first legalized in Tennessee in July 2019, but with no brick-and-mortar casinos in the state, residents had to wait until April 15 for rules and processes for online betting to be approved. With no in-person betting, Tennessee became the first state to legalize online-only sports betting.

Shortly after the TEL approved rules, the state began accepting applications for operators and vendors.

Gov. Bill Lee allowed legalized sports betting without his signature, so it’s not necessarily a surprise the state had to wait a while for online betting to find its legs.

Four marketing affiliate vendors have been fully approved by the TEL thus far, according to the Tennessean: Mark Knight, Media Players US, Sports Betting ST, and Wedge Traffic Ltd.

In addition to those four, 19 other registrants have also been approved.

The annual price of an operator’s tag in the Volunteer State will be $750,000, and operators will have to pay 20% in taxes on adjusted revenue from sports betting.

The MLB Playoffs, NBA Finals, and Stanley Cup Finals are all expected to kick off at the end of September, so an accelerated launch would certainly be welcomed from bettors in the state. With the NFL slated to return in September, Tennessee will at least find itself with football.

After a number of delays to the launch, it seems as if Tennessee is finally ready to roll the red carpet out for sports betting. With the online-only format in place, it will be interesting to track the revenue numbers the state puts up.