- Tennessee has authorized an ‘online only’ sports betting marketplace in the state.
- In addition to high fees and a double digit tax rate many of the state’s sports betting regulations are downright inexplicable.
- The most contentious is a requirement that sportsbooks hold at least 10% annually.
Tennessee has cobbled together some of the most hilariously awful sports betting regulations imaginable. It’s as if someone gave them a dare–“make your state a sports betting grease fire”–and they’ve done exactly that. They’re the ‘anti-Colorado’–while Colorado has created one of the most exciting sports betting ecosystems in the country, one that will bring investment, tourism and jobs to the state Tennessee has done just the opposite.
I did a full takedown of the Tennessee sports betting cesspool awhile back so check it out if you’re so inclined. Bottom line: lottery run, minimal competition, high fees, high taxes and a downright absurd 10% ‘hold requirement’ that Tennessee copied from that epicenter of sports betting excellence, France.
The state expects to launch sports betting around November 1 and to no surprise there hasn’t been a mad rush of companies looking to get involved. The expectation is that the usual deep pocketed names will give it a shot–DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM and maybe a couple of others. We can be pretty sure that BetMGM will be in the mix since they’ve signed a deal with the Tennessee Titans as the NFL team’s first official sports betting partner.
Here’s the news from the MGM Resorts press release:
The Tennessee Titans announced today that BetMGM, the joint venture between MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) and GVC Holdings (LSE: GVC), is the team’s first Official Sports Betting Partner. The announcement marks a historic moment in Tennessee as it represents the state’s first official partnership between a professional sports team and sports betting platform.
As an official sports betting partner, BetMGM will receive brand visibility across multiple Titans digital assets and key in-game moments, such as field goal attempts, video board replays, and more. BetMGM will become the exclusive naming rights partner of the Titans’ television studio at Saint Thomas Sports Park, and will be home to Titans All Access, the Coach Mike Vrabel Show and additional content aired throughout Tennessee. BetMGM also will sponsor a soon-to-be-announced Titans raffle benefiting The Titans Foundation, which directs funds to community organizations across the state.
Gil Beverly, Titans Sr. Vice President, Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer, had this to say:
“We are thrilled to bring BetMGM to the state of Tennessee. BetMGM will deliver new experiences and levels of engagement to our fans and we’re excited to welcome them in as an official partner.”
“The Titans are an incredible organization and we’re proud to have BetMGM as the team’s first official sports betting partner. This is truly a partnership between two great brands and we’re excited to introduce Titans fans to new ways to engage with their favorite football team.”
As noted above the BetMGM app will go live in the state on November 1 when someone will light the fuse on the Tennessee sports betting powder keg:
BetMGM recently received a conditional license to offer online sports betting in Tennessee. The BetMGM mobile app is scheduled to go live in the state November 1 when online sports betting is scheduled to launch, pending regulatory approval. The BetMGM app is currently available for download in seven states on both iOS and Android. For more information, follow @BetMGM on Twitter.
The 10% hold requirement clearly means that Tennessee sports bettors will be the ones getting screwed. Not surprising since this is pretty much what happens anytime state lotteries befoul sports betting. What’s not clear is how sportsbooks will fare. Since they’ll have a customer base composed exclusively of suckers and the ability to deal comically bad lines they could clean up. Stay tuned.