Tennessee Lottery Focus Efforts Toward Online Gambling

Legal Sports Betting Pushing Toward Tennessee
May 16, 2020 11:05Joe Tarzaiski

The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation (TELC) has recently been under the radar but is continuing to work toward its ultimate goal to put the 2019 Sports Gaming Act (SGA) into play. The Act will legalize online sports betting in the state. The result of this push will make the state eligible to launch its operations by the fall of 2020.

The process is expected to expedite the growth of licenses for the Volunteer State beginning this summer after this week's TELC teleconference. Rebecca Hargrove, CEO of TELC, voiced her opinions on the outcome of the conference. She stated:

“While there still isn’t a clear picture of when pro and college sports could restart due to global pandemic. Tennessee’s sports betting timeline isn’t set in stone yet, either. Sports betting operators and other vendors now need to go through the licensing application process, among other administrative check-offs.”

The SGA’s implementation is expected to occupy a majority of TELC’s time and attention according to TELC’s Chair Susan Lanigan. The state lottery will most likely look for help from its Sports Wagering Advisory Council in order to close out it's licensure and launch periods.

SGA Mandates Creation of an Advisory Council

The council will have a collection of nine members. These individuals will assist in the drafting of regulations as well as the launch of the online-only gambling industry in Tennessee.

The delay of the process became irrelevant due to the fact professional sports have been suspended due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Current Economic State of the TELC

The TELC has experienced a lower success during the ongoing public health crisis, but they are not down and out despite the lack of online ticket sales and eInstant games. Hargrove made a statement explaining they are staying afloat with its staff working from home and will continue to survive through the issues of the pandemic situation.

TELC retail centers re-opened on May 12, although the working hours have been compromised due to complying with quarantine measures. Although open and available, the hours are limited to limit the risk to not comply with the country-wide regulations. These locations where winning players can cash in their prizes have been filled with players holding winning tickets in hand, practicing social distancing in their process to collect their winnings.

According to Hargrove, the TELC has not experienced any issues in regard to paying out their customers’ prizes. She feels confident this is a mere dent in the company profit, and they will quickly bounce back to normalcy once the sports world resumes.

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Joe Tarzaiski
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Joe Tarzaiski began his sports writing career in 2004 in the Philadelphia market, analyzing and handicapping professional sports, college sports, poker and various table games. He currently reports on the increased efforts on the legalization and continual growth of sports betting throughout the United States. A Philadelphia University alum, Joe is dedicated to following current trends in both the gaming community and daily news throughout the sports world.
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