DraftKings launches sports betting in Tennessee Nov. 1

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Sunday marks a new day for Tennessee.

That’s when online sports betting begins.

“This is a great tool for the general public to have to wager on sports and just get their minds away from this whole year of 2020 which has just disrupted our lives,” Johnny Avello said.

Avello is the Sportsbook Director for DraftKings, one of four mobile operators approved for the state.

This list also includes Action247, BetMGM and FanDuel.

Avello said this will open a new door for financial impact.

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“What it means for the states though is tax revenue,” Avello said. “I see Tennessee as being a really big player in the game. If any indications from daily fantasy, what Tennessee is going to do, it looks like big numbers to me.”

The Tennessee Education Lottery will regulate sports wagering. Since 2004, it has raised more than $5.6 billion in funds for education programs and other initiatives.

It may not be all good, though.

Dr. James Whelan, the Executive Director of the Gambling Clinic at the University of Memphis, said it does create easier access to indulge in gambling issues.

“It’s not likely to cause people to become distorted gamblers,” Whelan said. “It’s just another way for people who are already having problems with their gambling or who are likely to have problems to really screw their lives up.”

Whelan said it’s easy to get caught up for those who feel they have knowledge of a sport.

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“The truth of the matter is the line on a game or the line on the bets within the game has nothing to do with knowledge,” Whelan said. “It’s all about the company wanting action on both sides of the bet.”

With a mobile device and credit card, anyone over the age of 21 in Tennessee can wager on sports, making it easy and possibly dangerous.

DraftKings, for example, is just one of the sportsbooks taking part in national programs touting responsible gambling and uses technology to understand player behavior.

Therefore possibly reducing the risks of gambling addiction.

Whelan warned people to be careful.

“If you don’t have that plan in advance, I guarantee a lot of people are going to screw it up and get themselves in a jam and won’t be able to pay their bills,” Whelan said.