Southland Casino Hotel launched its Betly Sportsbook in Tennessee on Monday, marking the 10th mobile sportsbook to go live in the state since legal sports betting launched on Nov. 1, 2020. Southland, which is located in West Memphis, Arkansas, made Betly Sportsbook available to Arkansans earlier this year, and the sportsbook is also available in West Virginia.
Gamewise, a joint venture between Southland’s parent company Delaware North and sports betting partner GAMING1, created the technology for Betly that is used in Tennessee and Arkansas. Delaware North operates the Betly Sportsbook in West Virginia.
“Tennessee is an exciting market to continue our growth after the immense success earlier this year in Arkansas,” Victor Araneda, GAMING1’s chief business development officer, said in a press release. “We’re proud to see our technology performing so well in the United States and look forward to continually improving our app’s functionality. We strongly believe in the value our omni-channel partnership with Delaware North will provide Tennessee bettors.”
Tennessee adding operators
Mary Beth Thomas began her tenure as the executive director of the Tennessee Sports Wagering Advisory Council in November 2021. She was tasked with taking over regulatory duties from the state lottery, as the SWAC officially became Tennessee’s sports betting regulator on Jan. 1, 2022.
It’s been a hectic nine months for Thomas, but she’s pleased with the SWAC’s work in its first year as the state’s regulator.
“Things still have not slowed down, given the interest in the Tennessee market from potential operators and the month-to-month increases we are seeing in wagering activity,” Thomas told Sports Handle. “Fortunately, we have built a great team of 11 full-time staff members with a wide range of legal, financial, and technological skill sets. I feel like we have found our regulatory groove, so to speak, and things are running smoothly.”
Thomas mentioned the interest from operators, and she expects Hard Rock Sportsbook to launch its platform in the state next week, giving Tennessee 11 mobile sports betting operators. Tennessee is a mobile-only state, as in-person sports wagering isn’t legal.
“We have a couple of additional operator applications coming down the pipeline, but I do not have a time frame for when those might be presented to the council or when they may go live,” Thomas said.
Tennessee’s sports betting market includes major operators like Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, and FanDuel. Other sports betting platforms, like SuperBook Sports and Wagr, give Tennesseans a variety of mobile offerings. It’s a strong collection of operators and a group that will continue to grow.
With yesterday's launch of Betly, Tennessee now has 13 licensed online sportsbooks:
Betly (Delaware North/Gamewise)
Tennessee Action 24/7
(Tennessee does not permit retail sportsbooks)
— Ryan Butler (@ButlerBets) August 16, 2022
Neighboring Kentucky has yet to legalize sports betting, and the same goes for Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. North Carolina and Mississippi have in-person sports betting options, while Arkansas has both mobile and retail sports wagering. Mobile sportsbooks are operational in Virginia, where casinos are being built in a handful of cities. One of those casinos (Hard Rock) is in Bristol, which borders Tennessee.
Thomas noted that the SWAC plans to host a sports wagering integrity seminar in September.
The NFL and FBI will be among the organizations presenting information to executives and compliance personnel from professional and collegiate sports teams. The seminar will focus on the impact of online sports betting on professional and collegiate teams.
“We are hopeful that this will be the first of several seminars in the future on this important topic,” Thomas said.