Tennessee Hires Sports Wagering Council Executive Director

Tennessee Hires Sports Wagering Council Executive Director
© USA Today

Mary Beth Thomas is the new Executive Director for the Sports Wagering Advisory Council, the group that will oversee online sports betting in Tennessee.

Thomas was selected by the panel on Thursday. She is currently the general counsel in Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office, where she was tasked with regulating fantasy sports and charitable gaming in Tennessee.

The Council has been meeting monthly to discuss the director position and sports betting rules. It met its goal of having someone in place by October.

The advisory council is set to take over regulating sports betting from the Tennessee Lottery on Jan. 1.

Tennessee Sports Betting

Sports wagering in Tennessee went live on Nov. 1, 2020. The state became the fastest to reach $200 million in a month during January 2021. Tennessee would eventually become the quickest state to reach $1 billion in handle during May, recording $1.1 billion in the first six months of its regulated sports betting market.

Michigan would later eclipse Tennessee’s mark, reaching the $1 billion mark through only 99 days.

Sportsbooks in Tennessee

Tennessee only has mobile sports betting, there are no brick and mortar establishments.

It has nine sportsbooks operating in the state. Barstool Sportsbook was the latest to launch on Sept. 8, making it eight states where the popular online brand has a sportsbook.

DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook and BetMGM Sportsbook launched the same day sports betting was legalized in the state.

Wagr is also one of the new sportsbooks that was just approved. It is backed by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s fund, Seven Seven Six, which includes the Manning brothers. Tennessee is the first state to approve and launch Wagr, but it has yet to publicly launch, only offering early access to those who sign up. Players can create their own bets that other users can wager on.

Action 24-7 is the only Tennessee-owned and operated sportsbook in the state to launch.

WynnBet Sportsbook went live in April, while Caesars Sportsbook launched in August and TwinSpires Sportsbook is also active in Tennessee.

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