Tennessee became the third state to regulate the daily fantasy sports industry when Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill into law on Wednesday. Tennessee joins Indiana and Virginia as state governments that have passed regulations overseeing DFS this year. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey also enacted DFS regulations this year.
Tennessee becomes the first state where a negative attorney opinion about the legality of daily fantasy sports was rendered moot by the legislature. AG Herbert Slatery earlier this month opined that operating DFS contests constituted illegal gambling under Tennessee law, previously.
Neither DraftKings nor FanDuel had announced that it would be leaving the state in the wake of that opinion.
Last week, the legislature voted overwhelmingly to approve the bill that formally legalizes and regulates DFS in Tennesseee. The Senate passed the bill 27-2, while the House approved the measure by a vote of 67-17. Given those majorities, the idea that the bill would become a law seemed like a matter of “when,” not “if.”
The bill is scheduled to take effect on July 1; daily fantasy sports sites appear to have until that date to decide whether they want to be licensed in the state.
The laws passed in Indiana and Virginia were friendly to DraftKings and FanDuel, but not necessarily the rest of the industry, because of $50,000 licensing fees included in those bills.
More at Legal Sports Report