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Tennessee Sports Betting

Updated: November 2, 2020

Tennessee sports betting launched online on November 1, 2020. The Volunteer State is the first to authorize online betting only, with no in-person betting locations available.

Tennessee has made history in the digital sports betting revolution sweeping the USA in the wake of the Supreme Court’s repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

You must be 21 years of age to bet on sports in Tennessee. Mobile betting and other forms of online betting are allowed from any location within the state.

Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about betting on sports in Tennessee.

  1. DraftKings

    DraftKings began as a daily fantasy leader and has grown into one of the best brands for Americans to wager legally on sports. Bettors in Tennessee can look forward to a top-rated betting app with tons of valuable promotions.

    Bonus: Up to $1,000 Credit
    More Info Icon
    Rated 5/5
  2. FanDuel

    With roots in daily fantasy sports, FanDuel is a reputable brand. Tennessee bettors can expect a superior live betting experience and lots of features for new gamblers at FanDuel’s Sportsbook.

    Bonus: $1,000 Risk-Free Bet
    More Info Icon
    Rated 5/5
  3. BetMGM

    BetMGM brings Tennessee sports bettors a great legal option to bet on sports anywhere in the state. Look for their valuable sign up bonus and enjoy a well-rounded platform backed by the biggest name in gaming.

    Bonus: $500 Risk-Free Bet
    More Info Icon
    Rated 5/5

Tennessee Sports Betting at a Glance

Tennessee was the first state to authorize sports betting before allowing other forms of gaming.  All other forms of gambling are currently unavailable in the state; there are no casinos or racetracks.

The legislation authorizing sports betting requires an exclusively online market.

Online-only betting action promises a lucrative market, but Tennessee sports betting is likely to be held back by excessive regulation. The 20% tax rate on operators is one of the highest in the nation, and the high 10% minimum hold requirements promote less desirable odds on some lines.

With a $750,000 annual licensing  fee to tops things off, Tennessee has created an excessively expensive regulatory environment for operators.

That said, the state has placed a premium on safety and convenience that makes legal Tennessee betting sites a great option for those in the state.

Most major online operators have begun the process to obtain sports wagering licenses despite the relatively high taxes and licensing fees. Tennessee’s central location and large number of avid sports fans act as incentive no doubt.

States that have both casino-based and online wagering have seen most of their revenue through online channels like mobile betting apps.

Whatever device you prefer, it’s key to ensure the online sportsbook you’re wagering with is licensed to legally operate. In Tennessee, this means they hold a license from the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.

Our reviewers have spent countless hours exploring the ins and outs of legal Tennessee sportsbooks and betting apps available in the Volunteer State.

Here are some of the online sportsbooks currently available in Tennessee:

Sportsbook Learn More
FanDuel Read Review
DraftKings Read Review
BetMGM Read Review

These sites have earned our endorsement for their well-priced odds, lucrative bonuses, wide range of betting options, and overall convenience.

Each also offers excellent mobile platforms via their dedicated betting apps.

Tennessee Betting Apps & Mobile Betting: Everything You Need to Know

The ability to bet from anywhere at any time is the best thing about online sports betting in Tennessee.

While many states have taken a cautious approach to sports betting regulation by only allowing for land-based retail betting locations, Tennessee can see the future of the industry.

In a world where fans primarily connect with sports through their mobile devices, mobile betting is a must. You use your cell phone to watch sports, read about sports, and talk about sports. With Tennessee sports betting apps, you can also use it to wager on them.

The best betting apps make it easy to browse the odds and betting options on the go and support the same functionality as their desktop-version counterparts.

Most of the most popular online sportsbooks today got their start as daily fantasy sports apps. Considering Tennessee was one of the first states to authorize daily fantasy sports, many of the biggest brand names will likely be familiar to those in the state.

Brands like FanDuel and DraftKings are mobile-first platforms. Everything they do is approached with a mobile-first philosophy, meaning you can expect glitch-free functionality even when enjoying the fastest-paced live betting offerings.

Note that some betting apps are market-specific, meaning you will be required to download the ‘Tennessee version’ to place wagers within the state.

Here are the sports betting apps currently available in Tennessee:

Betting App State-Specific? More Info
FanDuel No Read Review
DraftKings No Read Review
BetMGM No Read Review

Each of these apps is available for both Android and Apple users. Simply follow the links in the table above for detailed instructions on how to get started.

Tennessee Sports Betting Bonuses & Promos

Betting apps and online sportsbooks continually offer promos and bonuses. These can add significant amounts to your bankroll, and it’s worth looking for special offers as sportsbooks come online in Tennessee.

Many promos take the form of boosted odds that offer a bigger potential payout for the same risk. Other bonuses include risk-free bet credits or even skills-based contests.

Here are the biggest TN betting app sign up offers currently available: 

  • FanDuel – $1,000 Sign Up Offer
  • DraftKings – $1,000 Risk-Free Bet
  • BetMGM – $500 Risk-Free Bet

Terms and conditions apply to each of the TN sports betting welcome offers listed above. Visit the sportsbooks directly or read our detailed reviews to get the details.

No matter which sportsbook you go with, make sure they are licensed to operate by the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.

Let’s take a detailed look at the rules and restrictions you need to be aware of when betting on sports in Tennessee.

Tennessee has one of the most unique regulatory frameworks for sports betting anywhere in the country.

With a tightly regulated online market and no retail sports betting whatsoever, Tennessee regulators ask a lot of online operators but otherwise allow unfettered access to the market.

Sports betting in Tennessee is authorized under HB 1 – The Tennessee Sports Gaming Act. The bill was passed in 2019, and final rules around the market launch were established in April 2020. As promised, sports betting went live in Tennessee on November 1, 2020.

We summarize the key info bettors need to know below.

Online Sports Betting in Tennessee

Tennessee has created a set of rules that make it very easy for online bettors to get started with a betting app or sportsbook in the state.

Remote Registration Allowed

All sports betting operations in the state are entirely digital. This extends to account creation and verification. Unlike some other states, Tennessee does not require bettors to confirm the identity or fund their accounts in-person before placing online wagers.

Simply download your betting app of choice and follow the prompts to verify your account electronically.

Geolocation Required

Every betting site and sportsbook app in Tennessee must verify your location within state lines every time you place a wager.

Geo-comply software will ping your location frequently when visiting your sportsbook of choice. Most betting apps have integrated this functionality with the location services on your mobile device, while computer users will generally need to download an unobtrusive software package directly from their sportsbook website.

Note that you do not need to be a Tennessee resident to use a betting app or online betting site in the state. Location requirements apply to your physical presence within state lines rather than your regular place of residence.

Ten Percent Hold Requirement

While Tennessee deserves significant credit for its embrace of online betting platforms, some elements of the state’s regulatory structure are quite harmful to the betting public. The most controversial is a ‘hold requirement’, which dictates the percentage of gross revenue that sportsbooks may use to pay winnings.

In Tennessee, the ten percent hold requirement means sportsbooks must retain at least ten percent of their gross revenue. To meet this requirement, sportsbooks in the state will have to charge a higher rate of vigorish or ‘juice,’ which translates to less appealing odds across the board.

Similar to states that do not allow “straight” or single-game wagers, the idea is to make sports betting less appealing to consumers by reducing the potential payout. Considering Tennessee’s open-minded approach to internet wagering, the hold requirement is a surprising negative that will hopefully go away in time.

Sportsbooks Must Buy League Data

Major professional sports leagues have lobbied intensely to get their piece of the legal sports betting pie. To do so, they’ve attempted to convince state legislatures nationwide that sportsbooks should have to purchase “official league data” for use in grading wagers.

While most states have rejected the notion that the leagues themselves are the only data providers who can guarantee integrity, lawmakers in Tennessee did include the requirement in the state’s sports betting legislation. The rules stipulate that any live, in-play wagers must use official league data.

Official league data requirements are nothing more than a thinly veiled handout to the likes of the NFL and MLB, and they further increase overhead costs for Tennessee sportsbook operators.

Ultimately, these costs are likely to be pushed to consumers in the form of higher vigorish and fewer enticing bonus offers.

Online Sports Betting Licenses

Anyone can apply to offer online sports betting in Tennessee. This is also very unique – most states require online sportsbooks to operate under an existing gambling license, typically held by a land-based casino or racetrack.

Would-be online operators in Tennessee can apply for licenses directly with the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation, but they cost a pretty penny.

Sports betting licenses in Tennessee cost a staggering $750,000 and must be renewed at the same cost on a yearly basis. There is also a $50,000 “application processing fee” added to the total. For context, the licensing fee in nearby West Virginia is just $100,000 for a five-year term.

On top of these licensing fees, Tennessee sports betting is taxed at one of the highest rates in the nation. Operators will be assessed a 20% tax on all gross gaming revenue.

At the end of the day, the cost of doing business is high in the Tennessee sports betting industry. These policies are the direct result of the state’s conservative political climate, and the burden now falls on voters and bettors in the state to force the legislature to revise the historic sports betting legislation with more favorable terms.

Tennessee Sports Betting Rules & Regulations

Compared to the high barrier to entry that Tennessee lawmakers have imposed on sportsbook operators, there are few restrictions on who can bet on sports in the state. Similarly, most forms of wagering popular with bettors have gotten the go-ahead from the lottery corporation.

Who Can Bet on Sports in Tennessee?

Most adults can bet on sports in Tennessee. There are only a couple of exceptions defined under Sports Gaming Act § 4-51-312

You Must Be At Least 21 Years Old

The gambling age in Tennessee in 21, as in most of the United States. Sportsbooks are required to verify your identity via government-issued ID or approved e-verification software.

Those in the Sports Industry Are Prohibited

Most athletes, coaches, team managers, and other persons associated with a professional or collegiate sports team or governing body are prohibited from betting on sports in TN. This extends to amateur events where relevant.

The bottom line is that a person with any formal affiliation to a sporting event or league cannot bet on that event.

Gaming Industry Employees & Regulators Are Prohibited

Conflict of interest protections also extend to employees, owners, or affiliated persons of any sports wagering license holder and those who are affiliated with the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.

If you’re involved in the sports or gambling industries, chances are you are prohibited from online wagering in the Volunteer State. Otherwise, most adults are good to go!

Which Events Can I Bet on in Tennessee?

Tennessee allows wagering on most professional and collegiate sporting events, in addition to a wide range of popular amateur events and international competitions such as the Olympics.

Sportsbooks must get explicit approval from the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation before offering wagering on any new events.

No Betting on High School Sports

Sportsbooks in Tennessee cannot offer wagers on high school sporting events or any other amateur sporting events in which the majority of participants are under the age of 18.

eSports Betting Allowed

Tennessee’s sports betting rules allow for approval of any sporting event regulated by a governing body. This allows sportsbooks to offer wagers on select eSports events held at the professional level. That said, each event requires explicit approval from the lottery corporation before any odds can be offered.

Keep an eye out for eSports lines at your Tennessee sports betting site. In the meantime, you can brush up your skills with these eSports betting tips.

No Betting on Entertainment or Politics

Betting on sports in Tennessee is limited to sporting events. This means many of the prop bets and specials available in other markets won’t be offered at TN sportsbooks.

Betting on politics has not been authorized anywhere in the United States, while wagering on pop culture events like the Oscars or Academy Awards is allowed in some other states with regulated legal sports betting.

Which Types of Wagering Are Allowed on These Events?

Tennessee allows all the most popular wagering types found at online betting sites, including:

  • Straight bets (Moneyline, spread, O/U)
  • Parlays & Accumulators
  • Pleasers & Teasers
  • Player & Championship Futures
  • Live Betting
  • Props & Exotics
  • Exchange Betting

The only restrictions in place affect prop betting. Prop bets cannot be offered on collegiate sporting events. This applies to both live and pre-game wagering.

In addition, prop bets cannot hinge on the following elements of any sporting event:

“Injuries, penalties, or other such occurrences the Wager on which would be contrary to public policy, unfair to consumers, or deemed to violate Article Xl, Section 5 of the Constitution of Tennessee.”

Translating that legalese into English, don’t expect to see any cheeky props that could be in any viewed as “unethical” by regulators.

Tennessee Sports Betting FAQs

Is sports betting legal in Tennessee?

Yes. Online sports betting is legal in Tennessee.

When was sports betting legalized in Tennessee?

As of 2020, you can legally bet on sports in Tennessee.

Can I bet in Tennessee if I do not live there?

Yes. Anyone over the age of 21 can bet in Tennessee as long as they are within the state lines.

Are all types of bets accepted in Tennessee?

No. Prop bets are not allowed on college sports. Aside from that, Tennessee offers all types of wagers.

Local Teams Worth Betting On

Once you’re ready to roll with a legal TN betting site, it’s time to start considering the wagering options.

  • Tennessee Titans
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Nashville Predators

While you should never bet based on emotion, SBD understands that fans want to support their favorite teams.

We’re here to provide the data and analysis you need to bet with confidence every time. Our betting tools and editorial coverage can help you quickly gauge the betting value of your favorite teams.

Visit SBD Sharp to find a detailed return on investment data for any NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL, or college basketball and football teams.

Tennessee Sports Betting History

The legalization of sports betting in Tennessee is nothing short of historic for two reasons:

  • It is the first state to authorize online-only betting, with no retail component whatsoever
  • All forms of gambling have long been criticized in the state – Tennessee has a conservative political climate and no casinos or racetracks are present

Let’s take a look at the key dates in Tennessee’s sports betting legalization efforts:

November 2018: The Sports Wagering Act is introduced in the state legislature by Representative Rick Staples (D).

June 2019: Despite his personal opposition to the bill, Governor Bill Lee (R) decides not to veto the passed legislation, thus allowing H1 to become law.

April 2020: The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation releases a controversial set of rules to govern the first year of legal sports betting in the state. These rules – including the ten percent hold requirement – can be revised after one year of operation.

August 2020: The Lottery Corporation announces that they are processing applications from several would-be operators and promises the launch of the TN sports betting market by November 2020.

November 2020: Online sports betting launches in Tennessee, with major industry powerhouses like FanDual, DraftKings, and BetMGM the first to launch.

Sharpen Your Betting Skills with SBD

Regardless of your experience with sports betting, Sports Betting Dime can be a valuable resource. We have detailed betting guides to help you gain the edge you’re looking for.

Start out at Sports Betting 101 to learn the basics for new bettors. When you have that covered, find sport-specific advice in our How to Bet on Sports section. Or check out Sports Betting Strategy to incorporate advanced tactics into your wagers.

Betting in Tennessee is a new venture. Make sure you have the confidence and knowledge to get started.