Tennessee Lottery drafts rules, hires director for sports betting

in Lottery

Tennessee is releasing proposed rules and has hired a director for its online-only sports betting program. But there’s still no indication of when people can start placing bets.

At Tennessee’s first state sports betting advisory council meeting Thursday, ex-Tennessee Lottery official and current consultant Wanda Young Wilson said draft rules will be sent to council members Thursday and posted online Friday or Monday. Thirty days of public and council comment will follow before the lottery board considers the rules. Vendor applications will come next.

Wilson said Tennessee has struggled without a blueprint as the first state with only mobile sports betting and wants to do it right. There’s no deadline for betting to start up.

Nevada gaming law veteran Jennifer Roberts will become the sports betting program’s director Dec. 2.


Tennessee Unveils Draft Sports Betting Rules, Hires Director

Tennessee Unveils Draft Sports Betting Rules, Hires Director

The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation is charged with establishing rules and regulations for a mobile-only sports betting operation in a state that doesn’t currently have so much as a casino.

Jennifer Roberts can help with that. And soon she will.

Roberts, the associate director of the International Center for Gaming Regulation at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and a frequent expert panelist or moderator at gambling seminars, announced recently on Twitter that she had accepted an offer to become director of sports gaming regulation with the Tennessee Lottery beginning Dec. 2. The lottery oversees all aspects of sports betting in the state and will work in conjunction with organization’s sports wagering advisory council.

Comment Period Underway in Tennessee

Roberts will arrive during the comment period of the recently released draft regulations for sports betting.

“I really like focusing on sports betting. I think it's the new gambling trend and there's a lot of need for expertise in the space and I hope that I can provide a little bit of that to Tennessee and see it develop,” Roberts told Gambling.com. “I'm excited because it's the first mobile-only jurisdiction and I think that will be great.”

Tennessee legalized sports betting in July. Its collection of professional and college teams and Nashville tourism draw will make it a compelling case in the disparate state-by-state rollout of the industry.

Tennessee lottery officials held their first sports betting advisory council meeting late last week, formulating draft rules for the consideration of Lottery board members. The lottery board must wait through 30 days of public and council comment before considering them. Vendor applications would follow. Those vendors would pay $50,000 to apply and $750,000 yearly if licensed.

The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation Sports Wagering Advisory Council is next scheduled to meet on Jan. 14 in Nashville.

 Tennessee Regulars Release Draft Regulations

Forty-seven pages of draft regulations proposals offered a glimpse of how the industry will develop in a state with a team in every big-four sport except MLB and SEC members Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

In keeping with the legislation that was passed into law, vendors operating in Tennessee will be required to procure official data from sports leagues on which they offer bets by either purchasing the raw material or becoming their official partners “unless it can demonstrate to the Board that the governing body of a sport or other authorized entity cannot provide a feed of Official League Data for live betting in accordance with commercially reasonable terms, as determined by the Board.”

Tennessee was the first state to bake this long-standing request of pro sports leagues into legislation, and only Illinois has followed.

In-play betting on college sports are now allowed, nor is “an occurrence determinable by one person or one play, i.e., kicker to miss the first field goal.”

Bettors will be allowed to establish personal betting limits with sportsbook.

Two quirks in parlay betting were also key notables in the draft: a ban on future wagers or prop bets in parlays and pushes be scored as a loss instead of removed from the parlay as is commonplace.