After a disastrous week, Tennessee sports betting company Action 24/7 has secured a win — at least temporarily.
The sportsbook operator was on Friday awarded a temporary injunction against Tennessee Education Lottery officials that will reinstate the company’s sports gaming license in time for the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 games on Saturday and Sunday.
The decision from Chancellor Patricia Head Moskal reads as follows:
“The Court finds, at this preliminary stage, that Action 24/7 has clearly shown the likelihood that its right are being violated and it will suffer immediate and irreparable injury pending a final judgment, or that the acts of TEL will tend to render a final judgment in this appeal ineffectual.
“It is further ordered that, in order to maintain the status quo during the pendency of this action, Defendants are hereby directed to: (1) reinstate Action 24/7’s sports gaming license; and (2) notify Action 24/7’s vendors and suppliers of the reinstatement. This temporary injection does not enjoin Defendants from their ongoing duties to regulate and supervise Action 24/7’s compliance with the Tennessee Sports Gaming Act and the TEL Board Rules. Nor is Action 24/7 excused from complying with all requirements of the Tennessee Sports Gaming Act and the TEL Board Rules upon reinstatement.”
Attorneys for Action 24/7, which is being run by a team that also leads short-term lender Advance Financial, argued in court that its business suffered substantial harm from the suspension of its license just as the NCAA Tournament — one of the most-wagered-on sporting events of the year — was beginning.
The company maintained that, because customers were not allowed to withdraw funds after the license suspension — or place bets on the first week of the NCAA Tournament — those customers instead went to competitors and likely won’t return even when Action 24/7’s license is reinstated.
Had Action 24/7’s license not been reinstated in time for the remainder of the NCAA Tournament, the sportsbook likely would not have survived much longer.
Action 24/7’s license was suspended on March 19 by Lottery Board chair Susan Lanigan, and was upheld the following day after an emergency Lottery meeting. Action 24/7 then chose to file suit against Lottery officials on March 23, saying that Lanigan had acted unlawfully by revoking the license without consulting the full Lottery board or its Sports Wagering Committee, and the company hadn't been allowed to make any kind of case for itself.
The Lottery initially suspended Action 24/7’s license due to accusations of money laundering and suspected credit card fraud by its Sports Wagering Advisory Council.
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