Public Had 323 Things To Say About Initial Tennessee Sports Betting Regulations

Posted on January 16, 2020

When it came to the comment period on the proposed Tennessee sports betting regulations, Tennesseans certainly had something to say. Actually, 323 things to be precise.

This week, the Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL) released all of the comments from the 45-day comment period. The concerns and suggestions run the gamut, and we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the more contentious elements of the regulations in the coming weeks.

The best place to start with unpacking these public comments though are the two most hotly-contested proposed regulations:

  • The cap on annual payouts that requires a 15% hold.
  • That any leg of a parlay that results in a push results in a lost parlay bet.

Parlay losses generate the most comments

Of all the issues, the pushes on parlays drew the most attention from commenters. There were 60 people who signed off on a desire to grade a parlay as live if a leg pushes.

Commenters had a right to criticize the choice. Within regulated markets, it is virtually unprecedented to not keep a parlay bet live after a push.

With all operating US markets grading parlays differently, it is a tough pill to swallow that Tennessee would go its own way. Additionally, choices like these call into question whether or not there is enough institutional knowledge about sports betting making decisions within TEL.

15% handle measure generates 37 comments

Second only to the parlay grade issue was the 15% hold requirement. The recent report Eilers and Krejcik compiled on behalf of non-profit group The iDevelopment and Economic Association (iDEA) is now officially part of the comments. The group has been very vocal about the Tennessee regulations.

The organization includes several members of the gaming industry and they focus on educating Americans on online gambling. The end goal is to expand the number of quality online sportsbooks and casinos for Americans to choose from.

The education efforts appear to be paying off too. A total of 37 people commented on the inherent problems the hold mandate would create throughout the industry.

What is next for Tennessee sports betting?

The good news for bettors is that TEL will now go through this list of comments and suggestions. They will consult them as they craft the rules and regulations that will dictate how sports betting in the Volunteer State operates.

How long that will take is not clear. In this instance though, bettors are probably willing to wait a little longer for the regulators to get things right, not get things fast.

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Jessica Welman

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