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Tennessee Sports Betting & Wagering

Tennessee made national news by being the first state in the United States to only authorize mobile sports wagering. Prior to TN, states had only legalized retail betting or a combination of landlocked and mobile sportsbooks. The Tennessee sports betting legislative process began in November of 2018. 

Representative Rick Staples introduced the first sports betting bill in the State House. This bill didn’t resemble the future TN sports betting bill, but it started the sports betting conversation in the state legislature. 

Initial sports betting regulations that were proposed in the Tennessee legislature had the potential to kill the industry before it even started. There were legislators that didn’t want betting to be available on Sundays or holidays from 3:00-10:00 PM. 

The state legislature realized that this would’ve demoralized sports betting in Tennessee. Sports betting became legal in TN in 2019. The form of gambling didn’t launch in the state until November 1, 2020. 

Only mobile betting is legal in TN. The governing body over the form of gambling is the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation. This group finalized sports betting regulations in April of 2020. 

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Steps to Start Legal Tennessee Sports Betting

It’s very easy to start betting on sports in Tennessee. Tennessee only authorizes mobile sportsbooks in the state. Currently, there are four providers that are offering sports wagering in TN. You have the ability to play on all of these sites if you wish. 

To register, choose which platform that you would like to utilize. You must be 21 years of age and located within state borders to register. Download the sportsbook app or proceed to the company’s website from a desktop. Press the register button and fill in the required data. You will be asked to enter your Social Security number and some other data. This information allows the sportsbook to determine if you are legally allowed to bet in the state. 

  1. Make sure you are in TN state borders and are at least 21 years of age. 
  2. Choose one of the state’s four mobile sportsbooks that you would like to utilize. You can use all of the sportsbooks if you wish.
  3. Proceed to the sportsbooks’ website or download the mobile app.
  4. Fill in the required data and create your account.
  5. Make your first deposit and you will be ready to start betting on sports in TN.

Mobile Betting Apps in Tennessee

Four mobile providers put their applications in early during Tennessee’s initial licensing process. These four books were BetMGM, FanDuel, DraftKings, and Action 24/7. These are the only four providers in the state at this time. The next books that are going to be considered by the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation are BetAmerica, William Hill, and WynnBet. 

BetMGM Sportsbook

MGM Resorts International has put a lot of effort into its sports betting platform, BetMGM, in recent months. BetMGM has made huge strides in the state of TN because of these enhancements. MGM neglected their mobile sportsbook for an extensive period to focus on their online casino. This is starting to change and it’s causing TN bettors to look past DraftKings as well as FanDuel.

BetMGM has a simplistic yet sharp interface that’s easy to navigate. New bettors on the platform will receive a deposit match up to $500. On BetMGM, you will find some of the best moneyline odds in TN. 

FanDuel Sportsbook

FanDuel is not my favorite book in Tennessee. FanDuel established itself as a Daily Fantasy Sports powerhouse and this is a reason people utilize this book. However, I think the company could do much better when it comes to their welcome bonus. A new player’s first wager will be risk free up to $1,000.

If you win, you receive no extra bonus. If you lose, you receive your lost risk back in the form of free bets. Therefore, you may end up losing everything if your next few bets don’t hit. FanDuel delivers on interface as well as with generous odds boosts throughout the year. You will not be disappointed with FanDuel Sportsbook’s wagering experience once you get over the welcome bonus. 

DraftKings Sportsbook

There is not a more superior book in Tennessee when it comes to bonus opportunities than DraftKings Sportsbook. New players receive a deposit match up to $1,000 on DraftKings Sportsbook. This is remarkable compared to FanDuel. This is a larger version of FanDuel’s $500 deposit match for new players.

DraftKings has a vast sportsbook. It can be tough to navigate, but this is not an issue for bettors who want gaming options. When it comes to odds and wager types, DraftKings dominates the Tennessee market. You will find unique prop bets on the book which you will not be able to find from any other TN sports betting provider. 

DraftKings gives bettors a $1 bonus for every $25 wagered on the site. DraftKings Sportsbook cares about its users and any bettor who plays on the book will notice this immediately.

Action 247

Action 247 is a locally owned and operated sportsbook in Tennessee. This book struggles amongst conglomerate competitors who share the state’s sports betting market. The best part about Action 247 is that the book offers same day payouts.

Neither DraftKings, FanDuel, or BetMGM can compete with same day payouts. Action 247 also has local customer support. You will not be sent to an outsourced call center if you have an issue on the platform. 

Action 247 does not have the best live betting in the state. The book needs an enhancement in this category. Although, if you want to support a local brand you should check out Action 247. You will receive quality lines and a 100% deposit bonus up to $100. 

Physical Locations to Bet on Sports in Tennessee

Tennessee implemented mobile sports betting, but it’s still a state with strong conservative values. There are no landlocked casinos in the state. Therefore, the Tennessee Sports Gaming Act only authorized mobile betting in the state. There are no plans to build casinos, so it does not appear that retail sportsbooks are in the state’s plan at any point in the near future. 

Future Tennessee Sports Betting Venues & Locations

It does not look like retail sports betting will be coming to Tennessee anytime soon. Most retail sportsbooks in the United States are located inside casinos. TN has no casinos or plans to build casino properties in the state. Putting this aside, TN does have multiple professional sports teams that all play in different venues. Additionally, bars and restaurants could be a viable option for sportsbooks in the future. 

  • Nissan Stadium (Home of the Tennessee Titans)
  • Bridgestone Arena (Home of the Nashville Predators)
  • FedExForum (Home of the Memphis Grizzlies) 
  • Bars 
  • Restaurants 

Tennessee Sports Betting Regulation & Laws

In the summer of 2018, legal sports betting in the United States became a reality when the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. PASPA was passed in 1992 and it outlawed sports betting in the United States. New Jersey led the charge to enact legal sports betting in the United States. When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of NJ in the PASPA decision, all fifty states earned the right to legalize sports betting.

Even though Tennessee is a conservative state, the legislature acted quickly to try to pass a sports betting bill. The state of TN knew how valuable tax revenue would be for their economy. Representative Rick Staples proposed the initial sports betting bill in the state. Staples was a Democrat from Knoxville, TN.

His initial bill faltered, but Staples didn’t give up in his effort to legalize sports betting in the state of Tennessee. In 2019, Staples sponsored H 1 which was the Tennessee sports betting bill that eventually cleared through both houses of the state legislature. 

The bill made it through the TN Senate with ease, but it narrowly passed in the House during the committee stage of the legislative process. There were conservative legislators who deeply opposed sports betting in TN. One legislator called legal sports betting slavery. 

Religious values made a lot of people opposed to sports betting in the state. One legislator tried to amend the bill to ban sports betting on Sundays. This idea changed when the legislature realized that they would be unable to profit from NFL betting. Very few sportsbooks would have wanted to enter the state if TN banned betting on Sundays so this amendment never gained traction. 

Governor Bill Lee was opposed to TN sports betting. He knew that it would financially help the state, but he didn’t sign the bill into law. Lee was allowed to clear himself from the legalization process. This gave the Senate and the House of Representatives the final say in legal sports betting. The bill ended up passing in June of 2019 and the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation was given the task of overseeing sports betting in the state. 

Once sports betting passed, final regulations still had to be drafted. The original regulations included a mandatory 15% hold for sportsbooks on the total handle, no betting on single person sports like golf or tennis, and no betting on Sundays or holidays from 3:00-10:00 PM.

These restrictions would have buried the legal sports betting market in Tennessee before a single bet was even placed. The final sports betting regulations were not as strict as the mandates in the original draft.

The final draft included no betting restrictions on Sundays, holidays, or single person sports. However, the state enacted a 10% hold for sportsbooks in the state. Also, books were required to buy official league data to offer live betting in Tennessee. The final regulations were published in April of 2020. 

Sports betting was expected to launch in the state in July of 2020. Nevertheless, the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation was slow to grant licenses to sportsbooks. Sports betting launched on November 1, 2020 after the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation approved BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, Action 247 in the month prior. 

Only mobile betting is legalized in the state of TN. There are no current plans for retail betting in the near future. Tennessee law does not limit the amount of sportsbooks that can operate in the state. As this market continues to grow, TN sports betting could become a national power despite the state’s conservative identity. 

What are the Tax Rates for the Retail and Online Sports Betting Operators in TN

Wagering only takes place in an online format in the state of TN. There is one flat rate for sports betting revenue in Tennessee. First off, there is a $750,000 licensing fee that’s paid annually. Gross gaming revenue is taxed at 20% which is astronomical relative to some states where the form of gambling is legal. Sportsbooks also must hold 10% of their total handle. This was not well received by providers looking to enter the TN market. On top of all this, sportsbooks must purchase official league data to offer live betting. All these restrictions will most likely cause bettors in the state to experience worse odds so providers can profit. Also, it’s expected that less books will be willing to come to the state in the future. 

Legal Tennessee Sports Betting Timeline

  • Representative Rick Staples proposed the state’s first legal sports betting bill in 2018.
  • In 2019, Staples sponsored H 1 which ended up being passed in the TN state legislature.
  • H 1 was passed in the State House and Senate in June of 2019.
  • Governor Bill Lee removed himself from the decision allowing H 1 to be legalized without his signature. 
  • Final regulations were imposed by the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation in April of 2020.
  • The projected launch for TN sports betting was set for July 2020. 
  • TN sports betting did not launch in July because of a delayed licensing process. 
  • FanDuel, BetMGM, DraftKings, and Action 247 were all approved in September 2020.
  • Sports betting launched in TN on November 1, 2020.

List of Sports Wagers Allowed in Tennessee

  • Moneyline: Choosing a specific winner. 
  • Point spread: The margin of a team’s victory or loss. 
  • Totals: The number of points scored in a contest. 
  • Props: Side wagers on things that may happen. Props are very broad. 
  • Live betting: Bets that take place during the game with odds that are constantly changing. No live betting is allowed on college sports.
  • Futures: A bet on a future outcome.
  • Parlays: Group wagers that are often from different events. All legs must hit for a successful bet.
  • Teasers: Spread or total bets where the bettor can put the odds in their favor. 

Tennessee Sports betting Bonuses & Bonus Codes

Even though Tennessee sports betting is limited in terms of providers, it’s plentiful in the bonus department. The providers in the TN online wagering market give bettors a wide array of bonuses. The most common Tennessee online betting bonus is offered to new players on all the sites. 

Every sportsbook in TN offers a welcome bonus. The Tennessee sports wagering bonuses come in two distinct categories. You will either be awarded a deposit match or a risk free bet. Some books will match or give you a risk free bet up to $1,000. To earn these bonuses, you may need a bonus code, but most of the time these will be activated once you make your first deposit. 

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Tennessee Promos, Promo Codes and Promotions

Tennessee has a lot of professional sports franchises that play in the state. Sportsbooks in TN will often formulate their promotions around these teams. In TN online betting, you may be given a bonus for betting the Titans, Predators, or Grizzlies. These promotions will typically require a bonus code. The sportsbooks in TN online wagering will clearly identify where to enter the promo code before placing your bet so you receive the added benefit. 

Make sure to look at every sportsbook in TN when searching for the best promotions. If you create an account on every sportsbook, you will be able to access every platform’s promotional opportunities. 

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Best TN Sports Betting Cities

Tennessee sports betting is only available in an online format. Although, TN is still known for some large betting cities. This is determined by the professional and collegiate teams that compete in the area. The three largest betting cities in TN are Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville. 

Nashville 

Nashville is the capital of Tennessee. It’s located in the middle of the state. Nashville is also the home of country music so it’s a frequent spot for visitors that come to the state. Nashville is a major betting city because three of the state’s four professional teams play in the capital. The Tennessee Titans, Nashville SC, and the Nashville Predators all call the capital home during their respective seasons. 

Memphis

Memphis is the second major city in the state of TN. Memphis sits on the western border of Tennessee. Memphis is a frequent tourist location as well because of the BBQ food that’s native to the region of the state. The sole NBA team in TN, the Memphis Grizzlies, is the city’s only professional sports franchise. 

Knoxville

Knoxville is in the eastern portion of TN. Knoxville is the definition of a college town. It’s the home of the University of Tennessee so people will frequently bet the Volunteers in this area. There is no live betting allowed on college action, but wagers on the University of Tennessee’s football and basketball teams can be placed prior to the start of the game. 

TN Teams to Bet On

Tennessee has multiple professional and collegiate sports teams that compete in the state. There are four professional teams across four professional leagues. Additionally, Tennessee has one major Division I university that stands above the rest. This school is the University of Tennessee. 

University of Tennessee

The University of Tennessee is the most popular Division I school in the state. The Volunteers compete in the SEC. The two most popular teams at the school are the football and men’s basketball programs. The football team has won six National Championships. The basketball team has won a lot over the years, but the team has never won the NCAA Tournament.

Tennessee Titans 

The Tennessee Titans have been playing under their current name since 1999. Prior to this the team played as the Tennessee Oilers during the 1997 and 1998 seasons. The Titans play in the AFC South Division of the NFL. The franchise has won three AFC South titles and one AFC Championship since 1999. 

Nashville Predators 

The Nashville Predators play in the Central Division of the NHL. The team was founded in 1998 and they call Bridgestone Arena home. The Predators have never won a Stanley Cup. However, Nashville won the Western Conference in 2016-17. 

Memphis Grizzlies 

The Memphis Grizzlies are the only professional sports team that competes in Memphis. The team plays in the FedExForum. The Grizzlies were founded in 1995. The team is a member of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference. Memphis has never won a division, conference, or league title in franchise history. 

Nashville SC

Nashville SC was founded in 2017. SC is an expansion team in the Eastern Conference of the MLS. The team is planning on moving out of Nissan Stadium into their own venue in the coming seasons. 

Tennessee Sports Betting Revenue Numbers

In the first week of legal sports betting in TN, the total handle hit $27 million. Tennessee’s sports betting handle has continued to grow since the form of gambling launched on November 1, 2020. The total handle in the final two months of 2020 was $312,344,52. The December handle exceeded the November total.

  • November 2020: $131,444,523
  • December 2020: $180,900,000

Quick Glance at Tennessee Gambling & Industries

The Tennessee gambling industry is very limited. Tennessee has conservative values and no tribal casinos. Usually, gambling does not align with states who have a conservative identity. 

Tennessee Horse Racing Status

Horse race betting is legal in Tennessee. The state legalized horse racing betting in 2019 along with sports wagering. The four legal sportsbooks in TN offer horse race betting. However, there are no horse tracks in Tennessee. 

DFS / Daily Fantasy Sports in Tennessee

Daily Fantasy Sports are legal in TN. DFS became legal prior to the implementation of the Tennessee Sports Gaming Act which caused mobile sports betting to launch in the state. TN was the third state in the country to legalize DFS in 2016.  

The DFS bill in 2016 stipulated that fantasy sports providers must pay a $50,000 licensing fee and a 6% tax on all revenue that was earned inside state borders. The success of DFS had a big impact on the legalization of sports betting in 2019. 

TN Online Casino Play

Online casino play is not allowed in TN. There are not many states in the US who offer legalized online casino gaming. There is no specific prohibition against online casino play because of Tennessee’s broad regulations, but the punishment for breaking gambling rules is jail time. Based on Tennessee’s values, it does not seem likely that online casino gambling will be formally legalized anytime soon. 

Tennessee Online Lottery

The online lottery is not legal in Tennessee. All lottery tickets must be purchased through a retail location. The TN Lottery offers a mobile app that allows bettors to check past drawings, but no tickets can be purchased online. 

Tennessee Poker Rules 

Poker is not legal in TN. There are no casinos or card rooms in the state. The only time people can play poker for money is through a state sanctioned charity event. Online poker is illegal as well. TN does not seem to care about lost revenue when it comes to poker. 

Tennessee Esports Scene

Esports betting is legal in TN. It became legal to bet on Esports in 2019 when H 1 was passed in the state legislature. The language in the bill specifically allowed for Esports betting through the state regulated sportsbooks. 

How to Become a Sports Betting Affiliate in Tennessee 

To become a sports betting affiliate, an online provider must submit an application to the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation. There is no limit on the amount of sportsbooks that can operate in the state. Although, TN imposes tough regulations on all sports betting providers that are licensed in the state.

Once a betting provider is approved, they must pay a $750,000 licensing fee. The licensing fee in TN is due annually. Sportsbooks are required to pay 20% of their gross gaming revenue to the state. Also, books must hold 10% of their total handle at all times. 

FAQ for Tennessee Betting

1) Is it legal to bet on sports in Tennessee?

     Yes, it’s legal to bet on sports in Tennessee. 

2) Does Tennessee offer mobile sports betting or retail only?

     TN only offers mobile sports wagering. TN was the first state to only authorize mobile betting. 

3) Can I sign up to bet on sports in TN remotely or do I have to physically visit the retail sportsbook location?

     You must sign up online to bet on sports in Tennessee because there are no retail sportsbooks in the state.

4) Who regulates Tennessee sports betting?

     The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation regulates sports betting in the state. 

5) When was Tennessee sports betting legalized?

     Tennessee sports betting was legalized in June of 2019. 

6) Who placed the first bet in the state of Tennessee?

     The first bet in Tennessee was placed on November 1, 2020.

7) Can you bet on “in state” college games in Tennessee?

     The only betting restriction for college sports teams is that you cannot make live bets on collegiate action. TN universities are fair game for pregame betting. 

8) Are wagers for all professional sports leagues and teams accepted in TN?

     Yes, all wagers are accepted for professional sports in TN.

Latest Tennessee Sports Betting News

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