Local Sportsbook Tennessee Action 24/7 is Suspended by Regulators
A bombshell just exploded out of Tennessee as local sportsbook Tennessee Action 24/7 was suspended Thursday evening. On Friday, the Tennessee Lottery held an emergency meeting discussing what went into the suspension.
Lottery officials stated that Advance Financial, owner of Tennessee Action 24/7, was using the sportsbook as credit fraud and money laundering business, where 10s to 100s of thousands of dollars were involved.
In an emergency Tennessee Lottery meeting, an investigator says Advance Financial's sportsbook, Action 24/7, was being used for credit card fraud and money laundering that could range from the 10s to 100s of thousands of dollars.
— Erik Schelzig (@schelzig) March 19, 2021
The Tennessee Lottery held a board meeting on February 17 discussing that illegal activity occurred during the Super Bowl, where over 70 sports betting accounts were closed.
TN 24/7 Down
An investigation on money laundering and wire fraud could not have come at a worse time in the calendar year. On Thursday, Tennessee Action 24/7 tweeted out that the “Site temporarily down for maintenance. brb.”
Site temporarily down for maintenance. brb. pic.twitter.com/D8SabPqGJg
— Action 247 (@TNAction247) March 18, 2021
This came in the middle of the “First Four” March Madness games and on the eve of the official start of the college basketball postseason tournament. The tone changed from the social media account on Friday. “We know the timing is not great, and we appreciate your patience! We’ve worked through the night to get the issue resolved. We’ll be back soon,” tweeted out on the TN Action Twitter page.
What’s unique about Tennessee Action is that it is the only local sports betting operator in the U.S. With the sportsbook acting as a local operator, it has now caused very serious crimes due to poor internal control.
We know the timing is not great, and we appreciate your patience! We've worked through the night to get the issue resolved. We'll be back soon. pic.twitter.com/l8dzUH9XCA
— Action 247 (@TNAction247) March 19, 2021
Investigators discussed on Friday that “Hundred of bets were placed in violation of Federal Wire Act.” Over 45 payers created accounts outside of Tennessee, and Tennessee Action did nothing to stop it. Investigators confirmed that there are clear cases of money laundering, wire fraud, and credit card fraud.
Tennessee Action was used as a front for Advance Financial to use for payments or hand out same-day loans or other high-interest loans.
You’d think when investigators come to you after the Super Bowl, you should tone down the money laundering and wire fraud. No, Tennessee Action seemed to continue business as usual, which piqued interest for Federal investigators to look into.
So far, Tennessee Action has had its license temporarily suspended, and the site has been shut down. Most likely, investigators will take a deeper look into Tennessee Action made the illegal activity possible and decide consequences there.
There is a chance that the operator will lose its license for good depending on what they find, and c-suite executives could face potential prison time.
The investigation puts a black eye on Tennessee sports betting, and the industry, as a local company, tried to take advantage of the system and got caught tremendously. Only five sportsbooks are currently operating in Tennessee during the March Madness tournament, with Tennessee Action being suspended.
Fortunately, the suspension for the industry is not a huge deal. According to Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, Tennessee Action only accounts for 3% of the betting market as of February 10. The issue is the ripple effect of what comes from the activity and crimes committed.