In another groundbreaking moment for Tennessee sports betting, the Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL) has temporarily suspended all action at Action 24/7 sportsbook.
The operator became the first US sportsbook to have its license suspended last week.
Now, bettors are wondering how to get their money back. Turns out, they’re going to have to ask for it.
Action 24/7 sportsbook goes dark
The Tennessee Education Lottery temporarily suspended Action 24/7’s license last Friday, March 19.
Investigators looked into allegations of money laundering and proxy betting.
TEL investigator Danny DiRienzo inspected activity from 23 suspicious player accounts. He concluded that criminal activity was, in fact, occurring.
Certain users opened accounts with a small deposit matching the account holder’s information. Then, they made subsequent deposits with different funding methods or different account holder details.
Although the sportsbook detected the suspicious account activity on March 9, it did not divulge the activity to the TEL until March 17.
The third strike came when someone under contract with the sportsbook acted as a proxy by registering more than 45 out-of-state accounts.
The operator is alleged to have done nothing to investigate or stop these issues, which is a direct regulatory violation.
DiRienzo concluded that Action 24/7 does not have the necessary internal controls in place to safely protect players from financial harm.
In addition, he says that the operator ultimately misrepresented its breadth of internal controls to the lottery.
Bettors look to withdraw funds
With March Madness gearing up, many bettors added funds to their accounts in preparation for the Big Dance.
The first indication of an issue arose last Thursday, when the sportsbook claimed to be “down for maintenance”.
Now, the website and app are entirely unavailable, greeting users with an apology at startup.
Customer’s accounts are now in limbo with Action 24/7 down for the count. Users are unable to access their funds or request withdrawals.
Action 24/7’s violation issues are transaction-related, which is likely why the operator does not have transaction services up and running.
Nonetheless, this leaves many users at a loss for funds.
Some bettors are taking to Twitter for guidance.
Hey Cassandra…have you reached out to the Tennessee Lottery or Action 247 folks to get some info on how we are supposed to get our money back?
We can't request withdrawals if the site is shut down.
Any help would be appreciated.
— Tyler Duncan Fanclub President (@GolfDegen) March 21, 2021
As of now, the TEL has suspended the sportsbook indefinitely.
Before the TEL revokes the suspension, Action 24/7 must prove that the necessary controls are in place in order to prevent a scenario such as this from ever happening again.
This could take anywhere from a few days to a few months to straighten out.
TEL Director of Communications Dave Smith says players may be able to request a withdrawal before the sportsbook is back up and running.
“The operator has been authorized to allow withdrawals upon the request of a player under certain conditions. Players should contact the operator for further information.”
Until then, it looks like anxious bettors will either have to wait out the process or reach out to Action 24/7 for assistance.