Lottery officials in Tennessee had a teleconference on Wednesday to discuss the final rules for online sports betting. Sports betting in the Volunteer State has been legal since last year, but it didn’t launch due to arguments over the rules.
Officials conducted their regular Wednesday Board meeting via a teleconference due to the ongoing shelter in place orders because of the coronavirus, which is the source of a lot of further discussion that many sports betting and gaming operations are asking. When will there be sports to bet on again once the sportsbooks are able to launch?
The lottery chairwoman Susan Lanigan, who attended the meeting via the teleconference, was hopeful. After the vote was taken from the assembled board members, she said, “I believe today that we’re ready to finally adopt all of the rules, regulations and processes so that we can be ready for sports wagering in Tennessee, when sports resume.”
Lottery officials said that the vote means that they can start to plan an official launch date for sports betting. Without knowing exactly when professional and college sports will resume picking an exact date is going to be a challenge.
According to chairwoman Susan Lanigan, although it’s impossible to know right now when sports betting can launch, there are a lot of things to do before then. She said now they can start the sports betting license process, and they can take their time and make sure the process is done perfectly.
Lanigan further explained that the license application would be available on the Tennessee Lottery website next week. The office is closed to the public, and employees are working remotely Monday through Friday, so they are also accepting calls for questions.
The Lottery has up to 90 days to either approve the licenses or disqualify them. Lanigan doesn’t expect the process to take very long since a lot of the daily business issues are shut down for the moment, which frees up a lot of time to devote to the licensing process. Tennessee voters approved sports betting in a special election last spring, by a very narrow margin.
Lee Apprehensive Of Sports Betting
Governor Bill Lee, in office since January of 2019, was raised on a 1000-acre cattle ranch that his family has owned for over 100 years. He was a bit apprehensive about sports betting when sponsors and lawmakers approached him with their plans for developing a sports betting bill.
The Governor said the reason he wasn’t in 100% at the beginning was that the state doesn’t have even one casino. He was unsure of how it could be successful if there aren’t any casinos.
The lawmakers who approved sports betting showed him data from other states that already legalized sports betting. When he realized the revenue it could bring in, he gave it a blanket approval without his signature. It will be a gambling extension said board members that finalized the rules on Wednesday.