mobile sports betting three states
Industry Updates

Mobile Sports Betting On The Verge Of Going Live In Three States

If all goes according to plan, Michigan, Virginia, and Tennessee will join the fast-growing ranks of mobile sports betting states in the coming months. The addition of these three states will bring the number of US states with mobile sports betting up to 14.

Tennessee plans to launch mobile sports betting no later than November 1.

Michigan is on track for a late-Q4 launch of online sports betting and online casino.

And Virginia sports betting is likely to launch no later than the middle of January.

Here’s an overview of each state’s situation and how the three new entries compare to existing US mobile sports betting jurisdictions.

The Wait Is Finally Over in Tennessee

Delays have pushed the launch of mobile sports betting in Tennessee back several times, but it now looks like the industry will launch on or before November 1.

As currently constituted, the Tennessee sports betting industry comprises BetMGM, FanDuel, DraftKings, and Action 24/7.

 Tennessee is an intriguing market for a couple of reasons:

  • Tennessee is a mobile-only state, there are no retail sportsbooks in Tennessee, and operator licenses aren’t tied to land-based gaming.
  • Tennessee has adopted a controversial policy that mandates operators maintain a minimum hold percentage of 10%

Virginia Nearly Sticks to its Accelerated Timeline

After an early delay that pushed the licensing application back from early-September to mid-October, Virginia sports betting moved ahead at a lightning pace.

 Virginia finalized its sports betting rules in September, and the state began accepting license applications on October 15 – all operator licensing applications are due by October 31. Once submitted, the Virginia Lottery has 90 days to decide the applicant’s suitability.

“So an applicant will have to provide us all the documentation that we’re requesting prior to us deeming it complete,” Gina Smith, the lottery’s deputy director for gaming compliance, was quoted by the Richmond Times-Dispatch following the adoption of sports betting rules in mid-September. “And once it’s completed, we’ll do our investigations and our due diligence and within 90 days issue a decision.”

Michigan Launch Date Still Up in the Air

Michigan is the most interesting of the three states, as it will launch mobile sports betting in conjunction with online casino games at commercial and tribal casinos. The state already launched retail sports betting, but it did so at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic in March.   

The Michigan mobile sports betting timeline is less defined than Virginia and Tennessee, with insiders offering up launch dates anywhere from November 2020 to January-February 2021.

There are still several t’s to cross, and i’s to dot, but when it does go live, Michigan will have an extremely competitive sports betting landscape, with big names like DraftKings, FanDuel, Barstool Sports, BetMGM, and many others all battling for market share.

Where Mobile Sports Betting Is Currently Available

Here is the current list of mobile sports betting states. Click on each link for more information on sports betting and other legal forms of gambling available.

  1. Colorado
  2. Illinois
  3. Indiana
  4. Iowa
  5. Nevada
  6. New Hampshire
  7. New Jersey
  8. Oregon
  9. Pennsylvania
  10. Rhode Island
  11. West Virginia

High Expectations in Michigan and Virginia

Unlike several of the states listed above, Tennessee, Michigan, and Virginia are more or less open markets and allow mobile registration.

In Michigan and Virginia, these policies will place them among the best sports betting markets in the country.

Tennessee Could Have Been a High Expectation State

Why not Tennessee?

At 6.8 million residents, Tennessee is not only less populous than Virginia (8.5 million) and Michigan (10 million), but its 10% hold percentage is problematic.

It already appears to have dissuaded operators from entering the market (evidenced by the scant few operators that have applied for a license). The toll it will take on the consumer-friendliness of the industry has many industry-watchers concerned.

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