Tennessee Judge Mulls Reinstatement of Action 24/7 License

Tennessee Judge Mulls Reinstatement of Action 24/7 License
© USA Today

A Tennessee Chancery Court judge said Wednesday she’ll make a decision soon on whether to grant an injunction request by the state’s smallest sports wagering operator in its effort to have its license reinstated.

Action 24/7, the local Tennessee sportsbook that had its license suspended by the Tennessee Education Lottery last week, is suing to have the license reinstated immediately.

At the end of a long hearing Wednesday, Chancellor Patricia Head Moskal said she’ll render a decision on Action 24/7’s request for emergency injunctive relief, keeping in mind that this weekend’s March Madness basketball games are important to the sportsbook. Action 24/7 already missed the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament because of the suspension.

At issue are deposit and withdrawal activities that occurred mainly from March 9-12. According to an attorney for Action 24/7, those activities occurred largely late at night. The deposits appear to have been made fraudulently. About $37,000 in deposits were made to well over 100 accounts and withdrawals amounted to about $22,000 by an apparent seven individuals.

Action 24/7 says that as soon as it noticed the activity — mainly the morning after the activity occurred — the company self-reported the suspicious activity to state regulators but not until several days after its discovery.

In quick order, Action 24/7’s license was suspended by TEL Board Chair Susan Lanigan on March 18 and the following day the full board upheld the suspension.

Action 24/7 Not Permitted to Respond

Attorney for Action 24/7 E. Steele Clayton IV contended that his client was not permitted verbal rebuttal regarding the events of March 9-12 in front of the full board and pointed out that the particular activity did not require immediate reporting. Still, the company did make the state aware of the events in a timely manner, he said. Clayton described a seemingly bizarre account of the deliberation of the full board that led to the indefinite suspension, contending that the hastily called meeting included members who were driving cars or on spring break.

An attorney for the state, Lindsay Sisco, contended that while 24/7 was not permitted an oral presentation, the company was able to present a written account to the board. She also pointed out that Action 24/7 was one of two online gambling websites previously identified to be targeted in suspicious activity around the Super Bowl.

It is unclear how long Action 24/7, already with a single-digit percentage of the state’s sports handle, can survive a shutdown and how badly the publicity will damage its reputation and discourage customers.

Online sports betting went live in Tennessee on Nov. 1 with BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and Action 24/7 launching that day. William Hill and TwinSpires have since gone live in the all-online market.

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