Sports Wagering Advisory Council will soon have big decisions to make
The Sports Wagering Advisory Council will not become the regulatory body of Tennessee sports betting until January 1, but that group is already facing some tough decisions.
The SWAC held a meeting on June 29, but there were not any big decisions made at that time.
One of the biggest issues facing the group is naming a new Executive Director, and this is a very important role in a state that is seeing sports betting take off. The new Executive Director doesn’t have to be in place until January 1, but the SWAC is hoping for a decision much sooner.
Danielle Boyd left the position of Executive Director back in March, and not much has been done over the last few months. Council members all shared different views and opinions on what should be done, and a plan is expected to be announced at the next meeting on July 27.
Brian Fazenbaker proposed hiring a search firm to gather a list of potential applicants to aid in this process. While the search firm was working on pointing out potential hires, the SWAC would also be accepting and reviewing individual applications.
Another strategy would be to hire an interim Executive Director that could guide the SWAC through the process of getting things established for January 1. This interim hire would not be eligible for the official position but would give the SWAC more time to find the right candidate.
The Tennessee Education Lottery will be giving up the top regulatory position over sports betting on January 1, a decision that the TEL is okay with. There have been several issues along the way since the launch in November, and that group has received plenty of criticism.
Rebecca Hargrove, CEO of the TEL, urged the Sports Wagering Advisory Council to act as quickly as possible. With so many new states set to launch sports betting this year, some of the top candidates will be coming off of the board.
A new Executive Director will not be named at the next meeting on July 27, but the SWAC should have a direction mapped out at that time.
Rule Changes on the Table
Not only is the SWAC still searching for a new Executive Director, but it is also looking to make some rule changes. Rule changes are needed to help solidify some of the current regulations but also to keep Tennessee on a path of sports betting growth.
The SWAC will implement a new process to make any rule changes, and that will include posting them and accepting public comments. It is after this time that the council will then move forward with implementing these new rules.
The state is not expected to have any new permanent rules in place by January 1, but the SWAC could choose to announce emergency rules. This would give the council a period of six months to get new rules on the board.
Cleaning up some of the current languages is one of the biggest challenges facing the SWAC.
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