DraftKings, FanDuel And BetMGM Get Approval To Open Tennessee Sportsbooks

Posted on September 23, 2020 - Last Updated on October 9, 2020

A trio of major sportsbook operators received conditional licenses to operate in Tennessee once the state launches sports wagering, possibly Nov. 1 or sooner.

“The staff at the Tennessee Lottery performed a tremendous amount of work and due diligence to prepare us for these decisions today,” Board Chair Susan Lanigan said in a press release. “We appreciate their efforts as we work to establish and support a responsible and competitive sports wagering program in Tennessee.”

The first three Tennessee sportsbooks

DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM all got approval at a Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation (TEL) board of directors committee meeting held on Wednesday in Nashville. TEL oversees sports betting in the state.

FanDuel and DraftKings were approved as their corporate entities, Betfair Interactive US LLC and Crown TN Gaming, respectively.

It’s not entirely clear how many sportsbooks there will be in Tennessee at launch. Back in August, the lottery reported that four operators had submitted complete applications for vetting.

The lottery said that it would consider other applications for full licenses and vendors at upcoming meetings on Oct. 5 and Oct. 16.

Coincidentally — or not — DraftKings and FanDuel are the two biggest sportsbooks around the country in terms of wagers handled and revenue. BetMGM is the third-largest operator in some states that have legal sports betting.

Before launching, DraftKings is letting users sign up and claim a free bet. Details here.

When are Tennessee sportsbooks going live?

The approval of some operators seems to jive with the idea that the lottery will be live with online sports betting before the end of the year.

Wednesday’s move confirms three of those operators will be ready.

Back in August, the lottery made clear that it was hoping for a concurrent launch of the four initial operators on whatever date it happens, be it before, on, or after Nov. 1. Wednesday’s release from the lottery noted an “intended Nov. 1 go-live date.”

“We will continue to work with all parties involved to protect the consumer, promote fairness in sports and regulate this new Tennessee industry that provides critical funds to the state and local governments,” TEL President and CEO Rebecca Hargrove said in the release.

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