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You can now legally bet on sports in Tennessee.
Sports betting launched on Nov. 1, 2020, as a number of Tennessee sportsbook apps went live. There are no land-based sportsbooks.
Tennessee is also unusual in that it allows online sportsbook bets on college games ahead of time, but in-play wagers aren’t permitted on college games.
Read on for more information about legally betting on sports in the state.
Here are the online sportsbooks that are already live:
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Because there are no physical sportsbooks, Tennessee online sportsbooks operate independently. Unlike other states with online sports betting, there is no requirement for them to have a land-based partner.
There are plenty of sports betting apps that may be live in the future, including:
Tennessee offers six online sportsbook options at the moment. As it’s a new market, that’s always changing. Four operators were ready to go on Launch Day, Nov. 1, 2020.
They were the three apps dominating the US sports betting market – BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel. The fourth operator was unique to a state already unique for only offering online sports betting and not retail sportsbooks. That fourth app is Tennessee Action 24/7, which has quite a history.
More apps continue to join the original four. Here are their stories.
BetMGM is the product of a 50/50 partnership between MGM Resorts International and Entain. Even though the duo partnered on the app in July 2018, two months after the US Supreme Court decided to allow legal sports betting, BetMGM is one of the Big Three market leaders, along with DraftKings and FanDuel.
BetMGM Sportsbook features a $600 risk-free bet to get real-money gamblers started. While this app modeled after the luxury brand status of its retail casino and hotel resort namesake doesn’t tend to provide the kinds of small promotions casual bettors are accustomed to receiving, 100% of app users are enrolled in MGM’s loyalty program, M Life Rewards.
DraftKings is among the Big Three iGaming and online sportsbook market leaders, along with BetMGM and FanDuel.
With its roots in daily fantasy sports, competing with FanDuel for about a decade, DraftKings leverages that database in its state launches. That’s how DraftKings has managed to have people signed up for its apps before they go live.
DraftKings Sportsbook will match 20% of your first deposit, up to a maximum of $1,000. It’ll also give you a $50 free bet for signing up.
FanDuel is the market leader in iGaming and online sports betting. Because of its experience as a daily fantasy sports app, FanDuel has millions of users it can ping when states legalize online sports betting, in order to get a portion of them signed up for its sportsbook before launch.
FanDuel is likely getting its own IPO around July 2021. Its primary owner, Dublin-based Flutter, regularly boasts about how well FanDuel is performing in the US.
FanDuel Sportsbook offers a $1,000 risk-free first bet for new customers, and provides frequent promotions like bet boosters and money-back offers.
Tennessee’s homegrown app, Tennessee Action 24/7, was initially celebrated by the state, but has taken an unfortunate turn.
On March 26, 2021, a judge allowed the online sportsbook to resume taking bets – pending the outcome of its complicated regulatory issues with the Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL). TEL suspended the bookmaker’s license about a week before on March 18, because 24/7 allegedly hadn’t followed proper procedures regarding 23 instances of suspected fraud and money laundering.
Sportsbook representatives told the court they “didn’t know” they had to report suspected fraud.
However, that wasn’t the first time 24/7 ran afoul of TEL. Around the time of the Super Bowl, 24/7 was being investigated about a contractor allegedly setting up 45 accounts for proxy betting.
Action 24/7’s main claim to fame is that it’s a home state “rookie bookie” with a Nashville-based customer support center. The lure for Tennesseans is that they’re employing their neighbors, as it’s the only Tennessee owned and operated sportsbook.
William Hill, now owned by Caesars Entertainment, is a major brand in the UK and in Nevada‘s retail sportsbook scene.
It has the most retail partners of any brand, and was in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia and Iowa.
William Hill Sportsbook has a $5,000 risk-free bet offer for new customers, and some of the best sports betting guides for beginners.
Like BetMGM, WynnBET touts its roots in luxury. In WynnBET‘s launch announcement on April 30, 2021, the brand noted its parentage – Wynn Resorts.
Tennessee was WynnBET’s sixth state debut, with launches occurring during the previous nine months in New Jersey, Colorado, Michigan, Virginia and Indiana. WynnBET has “access opportunities” that are awaiting online sports betting legalization and/or regulatory approved in Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The WynnBET online sportsbook is powered by Scientific Games. That’s why the WynnBET site and app offer the combined casino and sportsbook in states where online casinos are legal. That makes it easy to switch back and forth between the casino and sportsbook while using a single account.
Online sports betting in Tennessee is safe and easy to use.
First, you’ll need to decide on what sportsbook you want to bet with and either download its app to your mobile device or visit the website on your computer. You’ll be asked to provide some personal information on sign-up, and to submit documents to confirm your identity.
The apps and sites offer free bets or deposit bonuses just for signing up. Otherwise, you’ll need to make a deposit. Fortunately, you have many options to do so, such as:
Once you’ve completed those steps, you’ll be good to go.
All of the most common and popular sports are available for betting in Tennessee. Unlike some states, there are no restrictions relating to college sports, including betting on teams from Tennessee colleges and on games played in-state.
However, while bettors can wager on college games ahead of time – or a full range of betting options that are available for professional sports – no in-play wagers are permitted on college games
Around the country, the most popular leagues for betting are:
However, plenty of other options exist, including various kinds of racing, international sports, minor leagues, foreign leagues, and less popular sports like darts and table tennis.
In some other states, betting on esports is possible, and betting on chess is being discussed. Whether these become available in Tennessee is to be determined.
Tennessee sports betting includes all of the same options available elsewhere. Here is a partial list of the options you can find:
You’ll also be able to combine bets as parlays and round-robins. Depending on the event, more exotic bets might be available, as well.
Yes. This popular form of online sports betting is available in Tennessee. This means that you will be able to place bets on a game already in progress, with odds that are updated on the fly.
By the same token, you will be able to cash out bets you’ve already placed, even before they’re officially settled.
Sports betting operators in Tennessee pay a tax of 20% on gross revenue, which is on the high side.
Regulations also contain an unusual requirement for a minimum hold — currently set at 8% — which could place an extra burden on operators that have an off month. License fees are steep, as well; at $750,000 annually.
Daily fantasy sports have a comparatively modest 6% tax rate, while horse betting is not subject to any state tax at all.
Many illegal offshore sites serve US customers, both in Tennessee and elsewhere. Betting with these operators carries significant risks, however. With legal sports betting allowed in Tennessee, it is a much safer option. Some of the reasons for that include:
Below are some common questions and answers related to online sports betting in Tennessee.
Yes you can, as of November 2020.
No. Tennessee has no land-based gambling industry. For the time being, sports betting will be online only.
Signups are online, with no requirement for in-person verification. You will need to provide your personal info and scanned or photographed documents to establish your identity.
Yes all payment processing is conducted online. All of the standard options should be available, such as credit cards, bank transfer, and various online services such as PayPal and Neteller.
The legal betting age is 21, as it is in most jurisdictions. Bettors need to be located within state borders in order to log in and place bets. Standard prohibitions apply, such as to athletes and coaching staff involved with the sports in question, to those who have requested self-exclusion, etc.
Unlike most other states that have legalized sports betting, Tennessee has no requirement for operators to have a land-based partner. This is largely due to the fact that no land-based gambling exists in the state. Therefore, any interested company can apply for a license to offer online sports betting.
As a result, Tennessee is among those states where DFS is not merely tolerated, but expressly licensed, regulated and subject to its own special taxes.
To date, six companies have received DFS licenses from the state:
Like the majority of US states, horse betting can be conducted legally over the internet in Tennessee. Pari-mutuel wagering on races predates the 2018 repeal of PASPA and the beginning of other forms of legal sports betting in the US.
In the absence of a dedicated gambling authority, the Tennessee Education Lottery has been tasked with regulation and licensing for online sports betting.
For daily fantasy sports, it is the Secretary of State who is responsible for establishing regulations and launching any investigations. Licensing has been delegated to the Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming.
Online horse betting falls under federal jurisdiction, and there is no state-level oversight in Tennessee.
Traditionally a state with a prohibitive attitude toward gambling, Tennessee turned heads in 2019 by becoming the first (and still only) state to legalize online-only sports betting.
Because it has no racetracks or brick-and-mortar casinos, the Volunteer State lacks obvious venues for retail sports betting. That is presumably why the legislature chose to bypass that option entirely and go straight to online betting.
Despite its (mostly) progressive sports betting law, Tennessee does not yet have many other options for gambling. There is a lottery as of 2003 and lawmakers passed a daily fantasy sports bill in 2016. However, prior to legalizing online sports betting, Tennesseans had to travel out of state for other forms of legal gambling.
Sports betting is one of the only two forms of online gambling expressly authorized in Tennessee; the other being daily fantasy sports.
Lawmakers passed H 1 in 2019, making their state the first without land-based casinos to legalize sports betting. It is still the sole online-only sports betting market in the country. That should not be much of a hindrance to the industry. Elsewhere in the country, bettors have shown a strong preference for online betting. In states with both online and retail options, it’s often the case that 80% to 90% of all betting is done online.
Conversely, neighbors Mississippi and Arkansas have gone the opposite route. They have retail-only sports betting, with no online option. Once it launches, Tennessee should serve as an example of how online betting is safe for consumers and a reliable source of tax revenue for the state.
Visit this TN online sports betting page for more details.
Tennessee’s history of gambling is largely one of prohibition.
Lawmakers first passed a blanket ban on all forms of betting in 1906, killing off what was once a flourishing horse racing industry around the turn of the century. That situation remained unchanged for nearly 100 years.
In 2001, Tennessee legislators passed a bill to establish a lottery. This required a referendum, which took place in 2003, garnering approval from 58% of voters. The first tickets went on sale the following year.
In 2016, the daily fantasy sports craze was in full swing. Following an attempt by the attorney general to prohibit DFS, legislators passed a bill expressly legalizing and regulating it.
Tennessee’s first attempt at a sports betting bill came in early 2019.
Though strongly opposed by social conservatives in the legislature, Bill H 1 did eventually make it onto the desk of Gov. Bill Lee. Despite his own ideological opposition to gambling, Lee opted not to veto the bill. He instead let his deadline for action expire; whereupon, the bill became law by default.
Initially, there were hopes that sites would be ready to take bets by late 2019 or early 2020. Unfortunately, the state’s inexperience with gambling was evident as it struggled to settle on the specifics of its regulatory framework. That led to delays and much discussion over certain rules likely to be unpopular with operators and bettors alike.
As of February 2020, the best estimate for the actual go-live date for Tennessee sports betting was sometime prior to the beginning of the NFL season in August.
Tennessee’s online sports betting went live on Nov. 1, 2020.