When Tennessee proposed legal online sports betting, it was considered a bold move as up until then the state had no gambling heritage whatsoever, not even a casino culture, tribal or commercial. However, the state managed to get online sports betting legalized and up-and-running. What’s more, straight out of the gates, Tennessee sports betting has been a raging success story recording the biggest debut month by any legal online sports betting state ever in November 2020.
In that out-of-the-box thinking environment, it is hardly surprising that the Volunteer State has come up with another radical and innovative sports betting proposal.
Tennessee legislators have given the green light for high-interest flexible loans for lenders to use with the Volunteer State’s own Action 24/7 sportsbook. The high-interest loans are known as ‘flex loans’ and are an alternative payment method that sports bettors can use to deposit directly into their sports betting accounts at Action 24/7.
How the Unique Tennessee Loans Will Work
With these high-interest flexible loans, for all intents and purposes, sports bettors will be able to take out a line of credit that will be directly funded to the Action 24/7 sportsbook. It will be essentially identical to the situation where you apply for an in-store credit card, except in this case, the loan will only be available for use at the sportsbook.
The state gaming regulator, Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation (TELC), must be given a pat on the back for its free-thinking innovation, as no other sports legal state betting market has a similar loan-based scheme. Critics of the unique loans system should take into account that it is only available at the Tennessee-operated Action 24/7 sportsbook and not at the other betting operators in the Volunteer State. It may well become more widespread in the future, however, for the time being it has the feel of a safeguarded trial to see how it all plays out.
As Tennessee has already enjoyed huge early success with its sports wagering launch, the TELC appears to be capitalizing on the initial momentum and has earnt the right to experiment a little.
The high-interest loans are exactly that, with the loans coming with up to a 279.5% annual interest rate, so the Volunteer State’s sports bettors should err on the side of caution when considering the option as a viable long-term payment solution.
On the upside though, Tennessee’s own Action 24/7 is providing a point of difference to the big national players it is competing with in the Volunteer State’s sports wagering market. According to Tina Hodges, Action 24/7’s President in a recent media interview that point of difference has been noted by Tennessee’s sports bettors;
“One of the biggest things that our players have started to really love lately, especially in the last two or three weeks, is our cash deposits and cash withdrawals. We’re the only sportsbook in Tennessee that doesn’t require you to have a bank account. I didn’t realize how unique that was. It just seems a no-brainer that some people like to use their bank account for these sorts of things, some people don’t. We have over 100 partner locations across Tennessee, where people can go load and unload their sports gambling account in cash.” Hodges said.
That point-of-difference appears set to be amplified with the possibility of TELC approving an additional 12 national sportsbooks for immediate entry into the Volunteer State’s booming sports wagering market.
BetAmerica is expected to be the first of those new operators launching soon.