The Supreme Court gave each state the power to legalize sports betting in May of 2018 when they overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. Tennessee became the fourth state to legalize sports betting in 2019. Gov. Bill Lee allowed House Bill 1 to become law on Friday, May 24th without his signature.
Watch the video below or continue reading to learn about Tennessee sports betting laws.
Tennessee Sports Betting
Sports betting bill HB 1 legalized sports betting via mobile applications in the state of Tennessee. The law allows residents to bet on sports online, with a mobile app. Retail locations such as casinos are not allowed to offer sports betting. Tennessee is one of the only states to pursue a mobile-only route.
How old do you have to be to bet on sports in Tennessee?
You must be at least 21 years of age to bet on sports in Tennessee.
When will I be able to bet on sports in Tennessee?
There is not a listed date for the start of legal Tennessee sports wagering. While approved online sportsbooks could be up and running by July, it is more than likely Tennessee won't see legal betting until the start of the 2019 NFL season.
What sportsbooks are legal in Tennessee?
As of right now, it is speculated that companies with deep pockets such as FanDuel, DraftKings, William Hill, and 888sport will apply to offer sports wagering. Once companies begin to apply, I will update this guide.
Are there any prohibited bets?
Betting on live, or in-play bets for NCAA games will not be allowed in Tennesee. This means you can bet on the outcome of an NCAA game before the game starts, but not during the game. Residents will still be able to bet on Tennessee teams, go Vols!
About the Tennessee Sports Betting Bill
Tennessee sports betting legislation puts the Tennessee Lottery is in charge of overseeing sports gambling. The lottery will approve and deny all companies that apply to offer sports wagering. There is no cap on the total number of operators that can offer sports betting.
Gambling operators will have a hard time making money in Tennessee due to the higher tax rate, annual fees, and mandated league data. Retail sportsbooks, like most of the ones reviewed on this site, operate on margins of 5% or less. Because Tennessee has higher taxes and fess than most states, fewer companies will be able to afford to provide services in the state.
Tennessee sports betting will be taxed at a rate of 20% under the new law. Tax revenue will be allocated as follows: 40% for general appropriations, 30% to each Tennessee college of applied technology and community college for equipment and capital projects, and 30% to each local government. Compared to other states with legal sports betting, this rate
Sports betting operators will have to pay $750,000 annually to operate in the Volunteer State. This annual fee surpasses most states, which require yearly payments of $100,000 or less. The fee is close to Pennsylvania, which charges a one-time fee of $10,000,000.
Tennessee sports betting operators will also be forced to purchase official data from professional sports leagues for in-game bets. While this mandate has bettor safety in mind, it could prove costly to both operators and bettors. Professional sports leagues are new to sports betting, meaning it might take some time to gather the necessary data for in-play betting. If operators like FanDuel and DraftKings have to pay more money for data they could get for cheaper, it could mean fewer promotions and more expensive odds for customers.
Tennessee Online Gambling
Tennessee has been one of the strictest states in terms of gambling, only becoming more progressive in the last few years. Residents of Tennessee still have to drive out of state if they want to go to a casino.
Here's what forms of gambling are legal in Tennessee:
- Online Sports Betting - Legal (expected launch - 2019)
- Online Horse Betting - Legal
- Daily Fantasy Sports - Legal
- iGaming (online slots) - Not Legal
- Online Poker - Not Legal
- Offshore Sportsbooks - Not Legal
Daily Fantasy Sports
Daily Fantasy Sports, or DFS, is a cross between fantasy football and legalized gambling. On a broad level, DFS contests are a subsection of fantasy sports. Players compete against their friends, or more often strangers to build a team of professional athletes under a given salary cap, and try and to outscore their opponents. Daily fantasy sports differ from traditional fantasy sports by having contests that last for an evening or the weekend, as opposed to having the same team for months. Daily Fantasy Sports, such as FanDuel and DraftKings are legal in Tennessee.
For horse racing, residents Tennessee residents can bet online. The most well-known horse racing sites are TVG, Bet America, and TwinSpires.
Offshore betting is betting on sports online through an offshore sportsbook operated overseas. Offshore sportsbooks such as Bovada, BetOnline, MyBookie, and 5Dimes are illegal in all 50 states. While offshore sportsbooks accept U.S. citizens as clients, they can be unsafe and untrustworthy. Because offshore sportsbooks are often unregulated, they have the power to rip off customers who win lots of money. With legal betting available in Tennessee, there is no need to bet with an offshore sportsbook. Reference this guide for all legal sportsbooks.
The Tennessee Lottery does not offer online games. The Tennessee Lottery does sell lottery tickets at retail locations across the state.