Tennessee sports betting prepares for launch this fall

Simona Boshkova | Published 19 Aug 2020, 10:37 a.m.

We’ve covered plenty of topics about the gambling situation in the United States in the past few months, whether it was about some new launch, legislation, or revenue reports. For example, New Hampshire got its first retail sportsbook launched by DraftKings. Furthermore, the same operator launched a sports betting app in Illinois.

We’ve also reported that four Oklahoma tribes are suing the state and two other tribes, asking for the federal court to annul the agreement that has been concluded between them. In terms of sports betting revenue, the latest news came from Indiana where it was announced a huge increase in July.

Today we have news about another US state looking to launch sports betting as soon as possible. Namely, Tennessee might finally have a launch date for sports betting which could be at the same time when the NFL and Titans are playing.

Tennessee is about to launch no later than November

A couple of months ago, we reported that Tennessee finalised sports betting regulations and set an extremely high hold cap at 90%. After that, the state announced that it will start accepting applications for new mobile sports betting licences. Now, on Tuesday, the Tennessee Lottery’s Sports Wagering Advisory Council took place, after which the Lottery President and CEO Rebecca Hargrove said that sports betting will launch no later than November 1st.

When sports betting regulations were approved in April, the Tennessee Lottery hoped to launch when sports returned. It’s expected that Tennessee will launch the first all-mobile market in the United States. However, the state received criticism for some of the regulations, such as the high hold cap and high licencing fees.

So far, four sportsbooks have applied to operate in Tennessee, but they still aren’t identified. But, DraftKings said it is working on entering the Tennessee market to offer its sports betting services. Other sportsbook operators that were looking into the Tennessee market include Stars Group’s FOX Bet, BetMGM, Unibet, and 888sports. It’s also expected that FanDuel will enter the market, even if it hasn’t commented on the application process.

Mississippi saw huge revenue growth in July

While Tennessee is preparing for a sports betting launch this fall, another US state continues to see sports betting activity increase. To be specific, Mississippi’s total July revenue was more than four times over June’s revenue. However, the state’s revenue figures are still behind the 2019 figures as there are still some restrictive in-casino rules.

Mississippi reported over $7m revenue for July, which is a 402% increase over June’s $1m revenue. However, according to the Mississippi Gaming Commission, the July 2020 revenue is still down 40% from the same month last year, which was over $13m. The main sport to bet on in Mississippi in July was baseball and players wagered over $3m. The “other sports” category draw $2m in revenue, while basketball received $1m.

Mississippi has 13 casinos on land and 13 on riverboats, and players must place online wagers inside one of them. These casinos were closed from mid-March to mid-May, and now they’re open with limited capacity. However, the restriction on mobile sports betting has the biggest impact on the revenue figures, as states with mobile markets like New Jersey and Pennsylvania saw some revenue while the land-based casinos were closed.

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