Can New Operator ZenSports Master Debut in Tennessee?

Can New Operator ZenSports Master Debut in Tennessee?
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

As one Tennessee sports betting operator bows out, a new one is ready to enter the state.

The Tennessee Sports Wagering Advisory Council (SWAC) unanimously approved a license for ZenSports at its meeting Wednesday in Nashville.

“We’ll be going live in the next 10-14 days,” Mark Thomas, the co-founder and CEO of ZenSports, told BetTennessee.com after the meeting.

Tennessee will be ZenSports’ first online market in the U.S.

One of the newer Tennessee sports betting apps is available on Apple’s App Store, and an Android version is available through ZenSports’ website.

Bonus Bets Expire in 7 Days. One New Customer Offer Only. Must be 21+ to participate & present in TN. Gambling Problem? Call or Text the Tennessee REDLINE: 800-889-9789. Visit BetMGM.com for Terms & Conditions. US promotional offers not available in NY, NV, or Puerto Rico.

What is ZenSports?

ZenSports has been around for about seven years. It initially started as an app for people to find partners for recreational sports. However, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, the company shifted its focus to sports betting.

Last year, KeyStar Corp. acquired ZenSports, and Thomas was made the CEO of that company in January. A month later, it applied for a Tennessee license.

In a release issued early Thursday, ZenSports called Tennessee a “top 10” market.

Thomas and his team want to offer peer-to-peer wagering, which is what they believe will set them apart from their rivals in the state. The peer-to-peer format would allow bettors to make bets that they can share with friends or put on a marketplace through the ZenSports Tennessee app to offer to others on the site. 

For now, though, the Tennessee app will provide just a traditional sportsbook. The company plans to seek SWAC approval for peer-to-peer later this year.

Must be 21+ to participate. T&Cs apply.

Wagr Turns In Its License

Speaking of peer-to-peer, Wagr officially surrendered its Tennessee license at Thursday’s meeting as well.

The company started operations in Tennessee in January 2022. While it offered peer-to-peer wagering, only Wagr could set the odds.

Last month, Yahoo acquired Wagr as part of its plan to refresh its fantasy and gaming products.

“The unique combination of Yahoo’s scale and engagement creates opportunities for virtuous product loops between sports media and gaming,” Wagr CEO and Co-founder Mario Malavé said in a statement announcing the sale. “Joining Yahoo allows us to continue delivering on our mission to connect fandom to social gaming while elevating our ability to execute through expanded resources, new partnerships and technological capabilities.”

SWAC Executive Director Mary Beth Thomas told BetTennessee.com that Wagr informed the council it would turn in its license before the Yahoo transaction was announced.

With Wagr’s departure and ZenSports’ arrival, there remain 13 licensed sports betting operators in Tennessee.

You can look for Tennessee sportsbook promos for most of those operators on this site.

quote

Author

Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.