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Sports Wagering Advisory Council to assume regulatory powers in Tennessee


Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has signed a bill that will transfer sports wagering regulatory powers in the US state from the Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL) to the Sports Wagering Advisory Council.

Senate Bill 588 was introduced in February by Senator Edward Jackson and went on to pass in the state’s House by a vote of 73-13 in May, before securing final approval in the Senate during the same month in a 27-0 landslide vote.

Lee signed off on the bill at the end of last week, clearing the way for the nine-member Sports Wagering Advisory Council to assume control of regulation of the state’s sports betting market.

The Council will not formally take control of regulatory duties until January 1 2022, but the Council will now start to meet regulatory with the TEL as part of the transition of power.

The first such meeting was staged yesterday (June 1), during which the Council and TEL focused on the process of appointing an executive director to lead the Council.

Tennessee launched its legal sports betting market on November 1 last year, with FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM among the operators that went live for the opening. Bettors wagered $27.4m in the first seven days of legal mobile wagering.

The most recent set of figures published by the TEL showed players wagered a total of $172.4m in April, bringing the total sports betting handle in the state to over $1bn since the market’s launch.

Of April’s total, $156.9m was paid out in prizes, giving operators an adjusted gross income of $14.4m.

In March, the Tennessee Education Lottery suspended the license of operator Action 24/7 after the operator reported suspicious player activity including proxy betting and credit card fraud. Following an appeal, the license was reinstated a week later.