Tennessee Lottery Reviewing Alleged College Prop Bet
Among the issues facing bookmakers in the evolving U.S. sports wagering landscape is keeping straight the layers of regulations in the various jurisdictions where they operate. That’s compounded by the complexity of also keeping straight the wagers offered on the operators’ platforms, which in some cases may cross jurisdictional lines.
In short, what’s legal in one state that has regulated sports betting, may not be legal in another state that also offers legal sports wagering.
Although it’s not clear yet exactly what occurred, William Hill — with retail and online sportsbook operations in multiple U.S. jurisdictions — may have run afoul of a Tennessee sports wagering regulation that prohibits prop bet wagering on individual college players.
Tennessee offers only online sports betting and William Hill is one of a handful of operators in the state. The Tennessee Journal, a news outlet that covers state government and politics and first reported the story, ran a screen shot of an alleged $20 prop bet from the William Hill platform that featured an over/under for points by USC basketball player Isaiah Mobley (11.5 points at -115) in Tuesday's USC-Gonzaga men's region final game. A winning wager would pay $37.39. There were over-under totals and odds for other players as well.
As it turned out, the bet came down. William Hill went live in Tennessee on March 11, just in time for March Madness.
The Tennessee Education Lottery said it is looking into the bet.
“There’s a process in place for violations, and we will follow that process,” Dave Smith, communications director for the lottery, said in a statement. “This matter is under review, however, prop bets on college players are not permitted. The operator has taken those down, and any wagers placed have been voided by the operator.”
It is uncertain what, if any, discipline William Hill might face over the prop bet that included a college player. William Hill did not immediately return a request for comment.
A Number of Issues in Tennessee
Over the past few weeks, the TEL has dealt with another issue involving local sportsbook operator Action 24/7. In that case, alleged fraudulent debit card activity appeared to take place on that wagering platform earlier in March.
The operator eventually caught the activity but the lottery contended that Action 24/7 took too long to report it and the operator’s internal controls were also criticized by a lottery investigator. The TEL initially suspended Action 24/7’s license, but last week a Chancery Court judge lifted the suspension as part of an emergency injunction noting lottery officials failed to follow proper procedures. Action 24/7 has said that since the incident, it has taken measures to strengthen its internal controls.
The TEL has also seen its vice president of sports gaming operations, Danielle Boyd, step down. She was the second executive in that job to leave after a short period of time in the role. Boyd told Gambling.com that she is leaving for another job opportunity.
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