The Tennessee Sports Wagering Advisory Council approved three more applications for Tennessee sportsbooks at Thursday’s meeting.
Only one is ready to launch soon, though.
SuperBook plans to launch sports betting in Tennessee next month, the company told SWAC Chairman Billy Orgel after approval. Betly and Bally Bet will take longer to go live.
Bally Bet waited longest of new Tennessee sportsbooks
Bally Bet originally submitted its application to the Tennessee Education Lottery last May. The TEL was the first sports betting regulator for Tennessee before the job formally switched to the SWAC this January.
The brand does not plan to launch until back half of 2022 or early in 2023, Bally’s Interactive President Robeson Reeves said. That is for a few reasons.
First, Bally Bet is still working on its 2.0 software. That includes a player account management system from Gamesys and the Bet.Works sportsbook platform, both of which were acquired last year. Bally’s also needs time to build up its database from its multiple customer acquisition funnels including its free-t0-play game in partnership with the NHL‘s Nashville Predators.
The company does not intend to rush to market with an “inferior product,” CEO Lee Fenton said on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call.
SuperBook first, Betly next
SuperBook should be the first of Thursday’s three approvals to go live. The brand’s director of audit and compliance, Linda Tobin, told Orgel SuperBook wants to launch in April.
Tobin said SuperBook started working with its platform provider IGT PlaySports to lay the groundwork to go live as soon as the company knew it would be on the agenda for approval.
Betly, the sportsbook brand operated by the Gamewise joint venture between Delaware North and GAMING1, expects to be live within several months.
No tax payment update for Tennessee sportsbooks
March’s SWAC meeting came and went without any mention of the confusing tax issue the regulator inherited from the TEL.
SWAC Executive Director Mary Beth Thomas told the council last month the tax figures received from the TEL do not match those received by the first four launch operators.
That is a problem because of Tennessee’s unique law that requires sportsbooks hold a minimum 10% of adjusted revenue, which everyone did not do in calendar 2021. Under the TEL, operators would pay a $25,000 and receive a formal violation for not hitting that mark.
The SWAC decided to let operators pay the difference without a violation, though that iss hard to do without knowing which numbers are correct.