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Tennessee releases sports betting regulations for public comment


Tennessee has released its draft sports wagering rules, including stringent advertising regulations, for public comment.

The rules would only allow for wagers to be placed online or by remote kiosks, in accordance with the bill passed in the state’s 2019 legislative session, SB0016.

Under the regulations, operators must present all advertising materials they wish to use to the Tennessee Lottery at least 30 days before they are released.

In addition, ads must not appear on one medium “with such intensity and frequency that they represent saturation of that medium or become excessive.”

Marketing material must also include a responsible gambling message and a problem gambling helpline number. Gambling ads must also “reflect generally accepted contemporary standards of good taste.”

Ads are also not allowed to target those under 21 through the medium in which they appear or through the inclusion of symbols, language or celebrity endorsements. All advertisements must state that players must be 21 to place a bet.

The rules also state that all licensees must be members of the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS), the sports betting integrity body for the lottery industry.

The Tennessee Lottery will grant three types of license. A level I licence will be required for any person who offers online sports betting to the public and will cost $750,000 per year.

A Level II licence will cost $75,000 and be required by those who provide geolocation services, sports wagering equipment, software, systems, data, global risk management services, Patron accounts management systems, payment processors or “services that are material to the conducting of online interactive sports wagering.”

Applicants for a Level I or a Level II licence must submit a nonrefundable $50,000 application fee.

A Level III licence will be required for anyone “who provides services that are not material” to sports betting and will cost $7,500 annually. The Tennessee Lottery will determine which services are considered “material.”

Operators must use official league data, unless it is determined that leagues cannot provide this data on commercially reasonable terms.

The Tennessee Lottery must approve an event prior to operators accepting bets. Prop bets will not be allowed for collegiate events, or for professional events in cases where the outcome can be determined by one person. The Lottery will also maintain a register of self-excluded players.

In May, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee allowed SB0016 to pass without his signature, despite having made clear his opposition to expanding gambling in the US state.

“I do not believe the expansion of gambling through online sports betting is in the best interest of our state, but I do appreciate the General Assembly’s efforts to remove brick and mortar establishments,” he said.

The bill cleared the House by a vote of 51-40 after passing through the state Senate by a vote of 20-12.

The public will be able to comment on the regulations until December 20, with  the state to start accepting licence applications after the regulations are approved. Its Sports Wagering Advisory Council is due to hold its next meeting on January 14 2020, at which final approval could be granted.