PlayUSA Rewind: Tennessee, Virginia Sports Betting Inching Closer To Reality

Posted on April 22, 2020 - Last Updated on April 24, 2020

It remains incredible that each week, despite the lack of sports, we still find ample news surrounding legalized sports betting.

Casinos are still shuttered. Major sports are on hiatus. Understandably, sports betting handles and revenues are plummeting.

Still, states are powering ahead with legislation and pending launches. Sportsbooks are still landing partnerships. Apparently nothing can hold back sports betting progress.

On to the Rewind:

Tennessee sports betting ready to rock

After months of buildup, Tennessee sports betting has finally taken a step forward, closer to becoming reality.

The Tennessee Lottery Board finalized sports betting regulations and license application forms during a recent meeting. As a result, the state’s legal wagering industry could launch as soon as July 2020.

Nine months have passed since the state gave the green light for regulated betting. But finally, the board finalized rules to pave the way toward launch. The board also approved forms for sports betting licenses, applications that should become available to operators by week’s end.

While it remains unclear how long the lottery board will review applications, a summer launch of Tennessee sports betting seems more than reasonable.

That said, the board also voted on a 90% fixed payout cap, essentially requiring books to hold on to at least 10% of wagers each year.

That stipulation could limit wagering options offered by sportsbooks, which could understandably compensate by shortening odds or the like.

Regardless, TN online sports betting appears to be getting close.

Governor amends Virginia sports betting bill

Ideally, Gov. Ralph Northam would have signed the bill to legal sports betting in Virginia by now. Alas, he has not. Rather, he made several recommendations for the legislation and sent it back to lawmakers.

Certainly, this delays the legalization further. However, this does not seem as if it would derail the bill’s passage. The legislature will pore over the governor’s suggestions at a reconvened session April 22.

Among Northam’s recommendations, one stands out from the others. Under the definition of a “major league sports franchise,” the governor included NASCAR tracks.

In this portion of the bill, teams located in Virginia would be eligible to obtain sports betting licenses. Now, the likes of Martinsville Speedway and Richmond Raceway could potentially have a path to opening their own legal sportsbooks.

Between four and 12 online-only licenses will be made available for operators, as well as five licenses for casinos in the state and any “franchise” that seeks licensing.

Virginia would prohibit betting on in-state colleges. However, one of Northam’s recommendations would permit wagering on tournaments involving those schools.

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DraftKings teams with Inspired for virtual sports

With minimal sports on which to wager, DraftKings Sportsbook is certainly looking for ways to expand their offerings to customers.

The sportsbook appears to have found that solution courtesy of Inspired Entertainment.

DraftKings struck a deal with the virtual sports provider, allowing it to implement Inspired’s V-Play Plug & Play solution. As such, DraftKings will soon bring to its New Jersey customers 14 virtual sports.

Variants such as virtual basketball, football, horse racing, soccer and car racing will become available via DraftKings’ desktop and mobile sportsbooks.

Among the headlining products, V-Play NFLA Legends football will hit the DraftKings airwaves soon. Officially licensed with the NFL alumni, the game pits all-time legends against one another.

So while real sports remain sidelined, virtual sports will soon provide some sort of respite.

Grant Lucas Avatar
Written by
Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is a longtime sports writer who has covered the high school, collegiate and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield and Oregon State athletics, the Portland Trail Blazers and golf throughout his career.

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