Tennessee Sports Betting Guide

Tennessee Sports Betting Betting Info And The Best TN Sportsbooks

Both mobile and online sports betting are legal in the state of Tennessee, as they both went live on November 1, 2020. Top national operators such as BetMGM, FanDuel, and DraftKings were amongst those who got involved from the very beginning, offering an excellent legal service to Tennessee bettors.

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Tennessee has introduced legal sports betting apps and no retail betting for the first time in the US. Surely the state has the potential to be a significant US betting market with several top industry brands available, all keen to conquer shares in this mobile-online market. The state betting law took effect in early July 2019 with Gov. Bill Lee, who made it law. However, if we look back, we can see that historically Tennessee hasn’t been a ‘gambling friendly’ state. There are no retail casinos in the state, and there are no current plans to change that. This is why setting up betting was a relatively slow process, which culminated in the official launch on November 1st. On this page, you will find the latest information and updates on the progress of the Tennessee online sports betting market. Bookmark this page if you want to know the latest legal sportsbooks that are going live in the state, how you can sign up and, most importantly, how to make the most of the Tennessee legal betting opportunities. 

Online & mobile sportsbooks in Tennessee

Four operators (BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and Tennessee Action 24/7) who got their bid early were given a head start in the Volunteer State and began taking wagers on Nov. 1, 2020. The next operator to enter the Tennessee market was William Hill (now Caesars), who went live on March 11, 2021. Churchill Downs (TwinSpirs in TN) and Wynn Resort/WynnBet were the next on the line, with a launch date that was early 2021. The last sportsbook to enter the state was The Barstool Sportsbook, which joined the party on September 8, 2021. There are no limitations to how many operators can get a license in Tennessee, so we expect more to come into this market, and we will keep updating you on this page as and when this will happen. Eventually, we expect most of the major operators already providing online sports betting operations in other states to enter Tennessee and a few other niche books. There are potential new entrants:

  • Bet365
  • BetRivers
  • FOX Bet
  • PointsBet
  • Betly Sportsbook

Tennessee Land-based sports books

Tennessee was the first state in the US to pass online-only sports betting legislation. With no presence of brick-and-mortar casinos or horse tracks, the market is wholly focused on providing the best online and mobile experience. On the flip side, there aren’t any land-based retail sportsbooks for now and in the foreseeable future. The lack of retail outlets should help online and mobile operators grow even faster in the state. 

Tennessee betting laws and regulations

Sports betting in the US became a reality when the US Supreme Court, on the back of a lawsuit filed by New Jersey, overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018. The 1992 law made sports betting illegal except for a few states, but the high court ruled in favor of the Garden State’s challenge, giving the green light to every state to approve and implement sports betting. Since that day, several states have passed fresh legislation and are already up and running with their legal sports betting. One of these is Tennessee, so let’s look at the crucial points set by the state’s sports betting law. 

The sports betting market in Tennessee is the responsibility of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation. No retail sports betting is allowed, and the license fee is set at $750k annually, with money that are used to fund education. The taxation is at 20% of the Gross gaming revenue, and betting is allowed in all professional leagues and NCAA sporting events. When betting on college sporting events, it is not permitted to place props bets on in-game/live wagers. Bettors should be able to restrict or self-exclude to protest themselves from gambling addiction and related problems.

The road to establishing Tennessee’s sports betting rules was long, as the state didn’t have previous experience in the matter. One of the most singular rules is the 10% hold figure, or ‘payout cap’. The rule says that the aggregate annual payout of each Licensee shall not exceed 90%. This means that operators cannot pay out more than 90% of what they are taking in over the year. The 10% hold is relatively high, especially considering that the Nevada sports betting market returns around 94.5% to bettors. Since operators that fail to meet the 90% hold rule can be fined or have their licenses suspended, we believe Sportsbooks have no other way of servicing users with inferior pricing, both in parlay or futures.

There is a $25,000 penalty for offenders, with the Advisory Council and Board that could suspend the license in case of a repeat offender. 

The law has also set a dispute resolution process. Players would have to bring any issues to the operator firstly. Then, if the matter is not resolved, the player has various options to escalate all the way to the Lottery Board. The idea is that disputes should be resolved already at the operator level, at least in most cases. 

Is sports betting live in the state of Tennessee?

Yes, sports betting is currently live and legal in the state of Tennessee. The launch date was November 1, 2020 with four initial operators: BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Tennessee Action 24/7.

Who can place a real-money sports wager in Tennessee?

Bettors must be 21 years of age or older to wager in Tennessee. This is in line with most states that have legalized sports betting. Additionally, bettors would have to be located in the state of Tennessee before they are allowed to place a wager. Operators are checking this requirement via WiFi or a 4G mobile connection, and if the sportsbook is unable to locate you, it won’t accept the wager. You should be able to create an account, view lines and do any other account management tasks even if you are physically located outside of Tennessee. But wagering is reserved for those that are in the state. So you don’t actually have to live in TN to wager, but you have to be within the state lines. 

How many online sportsbooks will be available in Tennessee?

Since there is no limit on how many sportsbooks can operate in the state, we expect to see a very competitive market with around a dozen or more active sportsbooks in the next years. Tennessee has a 20% tax rate and a high annual licensing fee, so it is not the most attractive from this point of view for sports betting operators. Having said that, the market is entirely online, and we have seen that the inhospitable taxing landscape in Pennsylvania hasn’t stopped big-name operators from joining the mix. We suspect this might be the case also for Tennessee. Smaller and mid-sized operators, tough, might struggle to find a way to profitability and could skip this state. 

Do Tennessee mobile sportsbooks offer bonuses for new customers?

Yes! Online sportsbooks are fighting against each other for market share, and one way to stand out from the crowd is to offer lucrative welcome packages to new players. Make the most of these offers, which you will find on this page together with exclusive promo codes. 

How will I deposit and withdraw funds online with Tennessee sportsbooks?

A great way of wagering with legal sites is that they make your life very easy when it comes to depositing and withdrawing money from your betting account. Players in Tennessee can expect most if not all of these banking methods: 

  • ACH (eCheck): You can load funds directly to and from your connected bank account
  • Credit/Debit card: Old but reliable method. Upload funds using your VISA or Mastercard. Also Discover is accepted in some books. Since credit/debit cards only work for deposits, players would have to use a second banking method to withdraw any funds
  • PayPal: The world’s most famous e-wallet PayPal, can be used to make instantaneous deposits and withdrawals.
  • Online banking: Your existing bank account can be connected to transfer funds in and out of your betting account.
  • Pre-paid cards: Most sportsbooks will offer players a personalized pre-paid card to transact with them.
  • PayNearMe: Deposit cash in-person using retail stores available in your local area, like 7Eleven, CVS, and Family Dollar.

Since Tennessee is online-only sports betting market, it is impossible to deposit and withdraw cash at a casino cage. 

What wager types and betting markets will be available?

There aren’t many restrictions on what markets sportsbooks can support, except for a ban on in-play bets for college sports. For this reason, you will see lines offered for all major US pro sports like the NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL, college basketball and football, and other individual sports like golf, tennis, etc. You will find many wager types like point spreads, totals, money lines, futures, props on team and players, parlays, teasers, and in-play offerings. 

The history of gambling in Tennessee

The Tennesse government has always kept strong control on all forms of gambling, with poker rooms and casinos that do not exist in the state. However, in 2003, a lottery referendum was approved to support education and remains popular. Fantasy sports were approved in 2016, with the passage of the Fantasy Sports Act, while in 2019 Tennessee passed its online sports betting law. 

The process of legalization of sports betting in Tennessee

Tennessee’s final sports betting law was made from bills introduced in 2018 in both chambers. The state has never been ‘gambling friendly’, and it was not a surprise that Gov. Bill Lee voiced his opposition to widespread gambling expansion. Eventually, a compromise was found between Lee and the state’s General Assembly that allowed moving things forward. 

Sen. Steve Dickerson (R-Nashville) and Rep. Rick Staples (D-Knoxville) introduced SB0016 and HB0001, respectively, to permit legal online sports betting.

On April 24, 2019, the House passed the legislation with a strong majority of 58-37. The Senate agreed to accept the House bill with amendments and passed the bill with a 19-12 vote. As a result, Tennessee has become the first state in the US to approve a mobile-only sports wagering model. The law was sent to Gov. Lee’s desk and was returned without his signature. Lee explained in an accompanying letter that he didn’t believe that sports betting would be in the state’s interest. However, he said that he appreciated the General Assembly’s efforts to remove brick-and-mortar establishments and also said he would veto future efforts to expand gambling or introduce casinos in Tennessee. The legislation became law on July 1, 2019, but it took nine months for the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation to approve the final set of sports betting rules. That happened on April 15, 2020 and just over six months later, the first online sportsbooks were allowed to launch on November 1, 2020. On that date, BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Tennessee Action 24/7 started to take legal wagers on Tennessee. 

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John Pentin
John was born and raised in London, John has always been in love with American sports. He started to write football articles back in 2006 on his own blog and has also worked for several newspapers. John other passion was betting and has worked as a trader for several top sports book in the UK. As sports trader and has joined leading UK betting tipping site BettingTips4You in 2013 and he is now head of content. He has a great passion for US Sports so hasn't wasted the opportunity to write also for NewJerseySafeBetting, now that online sportsbetting has been legalized in the state.