Tennessee panel OKs 3 sportsbook firms before Nov start goal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee panel on Wednesday conditionally approved licenses for the first three sportsbook operators under Tennessee’s online-only sports betting program, which is expected to begin allowing wagers on Nov. 1.

FanDuel, BetMGM and DraftKings drew the approval Wednesday from the Tennessee Lottery’s Sports Wagering Committee. The panel has also approved companies to play various other roles in Tennessee’s sports betting market. Additional meetings are planned for Oct. 5 and Oct. 16 to consider more applications and review more information from the sportsbook licensees.

There is no limit on the number of sportsbook operators in Tennessee, as long as they meet the state’s requirements. The lottery is regulating sports betting in the state.

Tennessee lawmakers narrowly passed sports betting in spring 2019 for people 21 and older who are physically in the state when they place bets. Republican Gov. Bill Lee let it become law without his signature, citing concerns over an expansion of gambling in Tennessee, a state without casinos.

The law took effect in July 2019, but left many regulatory specifics up to the lottery.

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