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Tennessee Regulator Approves Three Operators for Sports Betting

Bally bet now legal in Tennessee

The legal Tennessee sports betting market is set to see major growth this year after the Sports Wagering Advisory Commission (SWAC) approved three new companies for operations during its Thursday meeting.

Among those greenlighted by the regulator is Bally’s Corporation’s Bally Bet, which is currently live in five states. The operator submitted its bid for a sports wagering license back in May 2021, but the Tennessee Education Lottery, which was in charge of regulating the industry at the time, put the application on the back burner until the SWAC took over this year. The SWAC took office on January 1.

The other two are SuperBook and Gamewise, which sent in their applications in November. The SuperBook brand is well-known in the United States sports betting scene, having operated sportsbooks in Nevada for close to four decades. The brand is licensed to Nevada-based SBOpco, LLC by Westgate Resorts.

The third licensee, Gamewise, is a relatively new entrant into the American bookmaking industry, having been launched in September 2021. The company launched on September 7 as a joint venture of Delaware North and Belgian gaming and sports betting provider GAMING1.

The permit issued to Gamewise allows it to launch Delaware North’s flagship sportsbook brand, Betly, in the Volunteer State.

SuperBook prepares to launch TN sportsbook in April

SuperBook is the first of the three operators to give a timeline for the launch of its sportsbook.

Following the Commission’s meeting on Thursday, the company has announced that its online and mobile sports wagering product would debut in the Volunteer State mid next month. The app will run on IGT’s PlaySports platform.

The Tennessee launch will mark the fifth active state for SuperBook, which is also live in Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, and New Jersey. The brand will join nine other regulated sportsbooks in the state namely Caesars, FanDuel, BetMGM, DraftKings, barstool, WynnBet, TwinSpires, Wagr, and Action 24/7.

Gamewise plans to commence operations ‘’within several months’’, while Bally Bet might launch in Q4 of this year or early 2023.

Another operator, Fubo Sportsbook, is also preparing to introduce its offering to bettors in the Volunteer State after receiving its permit from the SWAC in early February. However, the company is yet to announce when it will start taking bets in the jurisdiction.

SWAC adopts permanent rules

Besides signing off on the three license applications, the members of the SWAC also voted unanimously to approve a new set of rules for the industry. The SWAC has been using temporary emergency regulations since it took on the mantle from the Tennessee Education Lottery on January 1.

Despite an outcry from operators, the regulator retained the 10% hold rule, a controversial provision that requires all sportsbooks operating in the jurisdiction to retain at least 10% of all wagers staked by bettors.

Prop bets on individual college athletes will also remain illegal, although the SWAC has said that it will continue to engage with operators regarding the possibility of allowing more wagers and events in the future.

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