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Four companies approved for Tennessee sports betting launch

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Posted at 8:53 PM, Oct 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-27 11:07:48-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Four companies have been approved to start sportsbook style online betting in Tennessee within a week.

Tennessee legalized online sports gambling last year. The Tennessee Lottery board was charged with creating the rules for the new program. They have a day a spokesperson for the lottery says they hope will be the launch date.

"We continue to eye Nov. 1 as a “go-live” date for operators to begin taking wagers," said Dave Smith, Communications Director for the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.

Fanduel, DraftKings, BetMGM and Tennessee Action 24/7 have all been approved to launch sites.

Sports betting analyst Brian Pempus said he believes it will bring visitors to the state.

"I think you're going to see people traveling into Tennessee from Alabama, Georgia. If you live close to those border town, maybe you'll see those license plates come over to a local bar or restaurant," said Pempus.

Tennessee's online betting program comes with some controversy. A 90% payout cap rate was among the decisions reached by the lottery. The amount is controversial because some believe it will make Tennessee less competitive with other state's online gambling rules. The payout cap means the gambling companies have to hold 10% of winnings.

Pempus says the reason he believes the payout cap was put in place to allow the sole Tennessee sportsbook company to compete with larger national betting groups setting up in the state.