TN Lottery Hires William Hill Exec As VP Of Sports Gaming

TN Lottery Hires William Hill Exec As VP Of Sports Gaming
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The Tennessee Lottery has hired Danielle Boyd as vice president of sports gaming operations just days after Jennifer Roberts announced she was leaving as the lottery’s director of sports gaming regulation.

Boyd comes to Tennessee from William Hill U.S., where she was the head of government relations for two years. She had previously been managing general counsel of the West Virginia Lottery for almost seven years but left shortly after the state launched sports betting in 2018.

RELATED: More on Tennessee gaming and sports betting

Roberts’ departure and Boyd’s hiring come as Tennessee is trying to launch its all mobile/online sports betting market. Roberts, with the Tennessee Lottery for about eight months, announced Friday that she was leaving to join GameCo, based in Las Vegas, as vice president/general counsel starting July 1.

The Tennessee Lottery, which confirmed Boyd’s hiring on Monday, has been criticized by the gaming industry for some of the regulations it adopted, including a high hold cap and high licensing fees.

Boyd announced the move to Nashville on her Twitter account Monday.

What Happened in West Virginia?

According to published reports in West Virginia, lawmakers said that Boyd was forced out of her previous position by Gov. Jim Justice. The reports suggested there was a disagreement between the lottery and the administration over the use of official data from professional sports leagues.

The legislation approved in Tennessee requires the use of official data from sports leagues.

Boyd, who graduated from West Virginia University, resigned about a month after being placed on indefinite suspension. She said in her letter of resignation that she objected to “being placed on an indefinite ‘nondisciplinary’ suspension pending investigation, with neither further information about the cause for such an aggressive and unprecedented personnel action, nor details relating to the scope of the ‘pending investigation,’ ” according to a story in the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

She also reportedly responded to media questions about sports betting when all media inquiries to state agencies in West Virginia had to go through the governor’s office, the Gazette-Mail reported.

Tennessee Lottery Announces Another Hire

The lottery also confirmed Monday that it had hired Danny DiRienzo as sports gaming investigator.

DiRienzo has spent the last 22 years as a special agent with the U.S. Secret Service conducting various types of complex financial crimes investigations in Boston, Washington D.C., Indianapolis, Wilmington, North Carolina, and Nashville, according to the Tennessee Lottery.

Tennessee hopes to have its sports betting market up and running when sports re-emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, certainly in time for football season.

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