Are Betting Kiosks Destined For Tennessee Sports Betting?

Posted on July 10, 2019 - Last Updated on March 9, 2020

Sports betting is getting closer for people in the Volunteer State. The number of available devices to place bets on may be greater than expected with Tennessee sports betting kiosks.

Like any other business, sportsbook operators want to get their product where potential customers are. That might include placing kiosks in places where sports fans gather.

Are Tennessee sports betting kiosks legal?

Whether kiosks, like those William Hill use in Nevada, are legal in TN depends on how the law is interpreted.

The law doesn’t expressly forbid the installation or operation of sports betting kiosks. On the other hand, it doesn’t explicitly authorize them, either.

Kiosks would technically be accessing the same online platforms that computers and mobile devices will. Those wishing to install them could argue they are simply tablets in a box.

The Tennessee Lottery will ultimately decide whether kiosks are legal. There is a big reason why sportsbook operators might take the risk.

Advantages of internet kiosks for sportsbooks

In other states where sportsbook operators maintain kiosks, one of the biggest advantages is allowing customers to avoid waiting in lines. As there will be no physical sportsbooks in Tennessee, that won’t be the case.

The benefits are similar, however. It’s all about maximizing availability for maximum revenue.

Kiosks will allow bettors who wish to make cash deposits to do so. It would also allow the sportsbook operators to partner with venues where sports fans gather for promotional purposes.

Advantages of sports betting kiosks for locations

Depending on the regulations the state lottery decides to enact, the number of places where kiosks could be placed is massive.

Natural locations for kiosks include:

  • Restaurants
  • Sports bars
  • Stadiums

Increased patronage is an obvious point of attraction for those locations.

In exchange for allowing the sportsbook operators to place kiosks in their facilities, the locations could be entitled to a cut of the handle. That would mean increased revenue.

If such relationships were to be formed, it’s likely operators would offer incentives to use the kiosks like deposit bonuses.

How soon could sports betting kiosks be in place?

As legal online sportsbooks in Tennessee likely won’t be operating until November at the earliest, it may be quite a while before any kiosks appear.

Before deciding where to place the kiosks, operators will want to know they will be allowed to do so. The state’s lottery will take some time to make that decision.

Should the lottery decide in favor of kiosks, it will take more time to form partnerships with locations and then actually install the kiosks. Years may pass before sports betting kiosks are a reality.

The lottery’s familiarity with kiosks

The state is full of kiosks allowing customers to play lottery games like Powerball. That could be a good omen for the possibility of sports betting kiosks.

The state lottery has its own online app that works in concert with kiosks. That means the lottery is familiar with how a similar system for sports betting would work.

If the lottery doesn’t object, kiosks could become a part of Tennessee sports betting. That decision, however, could be years away, if it ever comes.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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