The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation was not satisfied with the suggestions for its proposed sports betting regulations. It has now extended the comment period for the regulation, hoping to strike gold in its first attempt at online gambling.
An online-only bill?
It is important to note that unlike Michigan and Illinois, Tennessee doesn’t have a robust gambling history. The state is planning to launch a mobile-only sports betting solution that could be its biggest flaw. This is not the only place where the bill is doomed. The proposals suggest a 15% hold for operators and an 85% annual payout limit.
Founder and CEO of Chalkline Sports betting platform Daniel Kustelski hoped that the regulators would remove these counter-productive measures from their proposal. The operator of the Nashville-based platform noted that the people who wrote the bill should not focus on the number, i.e., 15 or 14% hold for operators. Instead, they should get more education about it.
Note that New Jersey, the pioneering state in sports betting legalization has a hold higher than 9%. However, it is a high growth market. More mature markets like Nevada still have a 4% to 5% hold. Tennessee’s proposal is 3x this limit, which is raising my eyebrows. Typically, a high hold means that operators can keep a larger portion of the sports handle which is considered bad for the consumers.
Comments still open for the public
The Lottery was supposed to close public comments on the same on December 23. However, it has now extended the date to January 6. Jennifer Roberts, the new sports betting program director for the state, recently tweeted a link and urged stakeholders to comment on the bill. She asked influencers like Rufus Peabody and Captain Jack Andrews to give their suggestions about the state’s sports betting markets.
Roberts is an experienced professional from Nevada. She worked as the associate director at the International Center for Gaming Regulation in Las Vegas’ University of Nevada. The renowned professional joined her position on December 2, right when the comments period started. Now experts believe that her experience in the industry could help the state get over its gambling dilemma.
Kustelski also showed confidence in her abilities and said that she understands the regulatory process very week. He also urged the industry to comment on the bill and do their share to help provide more guidance to the state about its policies.