Tennessee Approves Churchill Downs as Sports Betting Operator

Vincent B

Churchill Downs gets the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation’s (TEL) approval to be a new sports betting operator. This occurred in a special meeting held in Nashville on Wednesday. Churchill launching sports betting in Tennessee would be right on time for the Super Bowl—a big game set to hold on the 7th of February. Hence, the state would have five different mobile apps to choose from.

During the special meeting, the Committee members and Board of Directors discussed the licensing of 12 new vendors and one new operator. However, both suppliers and licensees ought to meet all the laid down requirements. WynnBET and William Hill are vendors that applied to join the sports betting market in Tennessee. However, they haven’t been approved yet and are waiting to launch this year. It seems they won’t be available in time for the Super Bowl.

The Churchill Downs Interactive Gaming (CDI) Brands

Since 2007, CDI’s brand in every online pari-mutuel wagering business has been TwinSpires. Moreover, it has a history for providing unique experiences for customers in Kentucky as well as a wagering history of over a hundred years in handicapped races. Churchill Downs was approved by TEL just after it announced its transition from its BetAmerica brand to another brand, TwinSpires. BetAmerica is already active in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and New Jersey. This change in the brand would take place sometime around this month before CDI launches its iGaming and online sportsbook.

This rebrand would affect all online and retail sportsbooks in Indiana, New Jersey, Mississippi, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. According to a news released on Tuesday, the rebrand would occur during the first half of the year, 2021. Other partners of CDI would be Kambi Group and GAN. However, Kambi, a technology supplier, has been approved but GAN still awaits approval from TEL.

A Profitable First Month

Tennessee is a state without casinos, and it’s also seen as the first state to incorporate a market of only mobile sports betting in the nation. It approved sports wagering in 2019. The regulator of all sports betting activities in the state is the Tennessee Education Lottery; therefore, it doesn’t serve as an operator.

November was the first month when interactive sports wagering was practiced in Tennessee. The four operators launched on the 1st of November include DraftKings, BetMGM, Nashville-based Action 247, and FanDuel. On the 23rd of December, TEL announced the total tax from sports wagering in the state. A lot was discovered to have been generated from the first month. The TEL committee would release December totals later this month.

Zensports & Peer-to-peer Betting

ZenSports is one pending betting application in Tennessee. It is a traditional and unique mobile sportsbook. ZenSports’ uniqueness lies in its aim to offer peer-to-peer wagering. This wagering is like online poker because gamblers compete with each other and not the house. It would charge fees on betting done in the market created by customers.

This model was looked into briefly by TEL on Wednesday, and it was postponed for later discussions and some behind-the-scene meetings. The chairwoman of TEL, Susan Lanigan acknowledged she wasn’t aware as regards peer-to-peer wagering.

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