Jennifer Roberts joined the Tennessee Lottery as the director of the state’s online-only sports betting program in December 2019. Now, six months later, she has tendered her resignation before the first bet was placed.
Roberts will join video game gambling company GameCo.
Tennessee lacks a land-based casino industry, so lawmakers were unable to turn to commercial gaming operators to help launch the new industry. Ex-lottery official and current consultant Wanda Young Wilson said Tennessee had no model to follow, because it is the first state to propose mobile sports betting only.
Ultimately, the state went with an open-market online model, then hired Roberts, previously an associate director at the International Center for Gaming Regulation at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She was charged with helping to create rules and regulations for the state, and setting a timeline to get sports betting up and running.