Only Online Sports Betting in Tennessee
Many states have legalized internet and land-based sports betting as a package deal. They also require betting sites to partner with an existing brick-and-mortar casino or sportsbook.
Because Tennessee doesn’t feature land-based gambling establishments, it faced a unique situation in 2019. Lawmakers needed to decide whether to legalize betting sites but not retail bookmakers.
The State House and Senate passed online sports gambling legislation in April 2019. Despite reservations about sports betting, Gov. Bill Lee let the bill become law by taking no action.
What Betting Sites will Serve Tennessee?
The following three online sportsbooks already hold TN betting licenses:
- BetMGM Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
All three bookmakers are set to go live as early as November 2020. Until then, DraftKings is offering Tennesseans a $50 risk-free wager for signing up early.
Other online bookmakers likely to enter the Volunteer State at some point include:
- Barstool Bets
- Fox Bet
- William Hill
Estimated Launch Date of TN Online Sportsbooks
DraftKings and FanDuel have been early into many markets so far. They’ll likely meet the Nov. 2020 launch estimation.
BetMGM Sportsbook shouldn’t be far behind them. It has closely competed with FanDuel and DraftKings in the early launch category.
DraftKings may quickly gain a market advantage thanks to its $50 risk-free bet. However, BetMGM and FanDuel should still provide tough competition.
Legalities of Tennessee Online Sports Betting
Tennessee is the only state to opt for an internet-only betting market so far. Its sports gambling legislation includes the following provisions:
- $750,000 annual licensing fee.
- 20% tax rate on gross gaming revenue.
- Sportsbooks must purchase official league data for in-play betting purposes.
- Operators must collect a 10% hold (a.k.a. juice) on total betting action.
- Betting allowed on professional and collegiate sports.
- No prop bets on collegiate sports.
The $750k licensing fee combined with a 20% tax rate makes Tennessee one of the nation’s most expensive betting jurisdictions.
This problem is exacerbated by the mandate on official league data. Bookmakers that wish to provide live betting must purchase official stats from pro sports leagues.
The 10% hold is another sticking point for many operators. By comparison, most states only hold between 5% and 6% of bets to make their markets more attractive to gamblers.
Further provisions in Tennessee’s sports gambling bill cover the bettors themselves. Those who are banned from wagering in this state include:
- Athletes, coaches, officials, or anybody else who can directly affect betting results.
- Members and employees of relevant sports governing bodies.
- Owners, partners, board members, or special advisors to professional sports teams.
Tennessee Sports Betting Apps
TN sportsbooks will only be able to offer their services online. Therefore, apps are a given in Tennessee’s market.
BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel are currently the only license holders in the state. They each offer Android and iOS apps in other markets.
Different Download Processes for Android & iOS
Android and iOS gambling apps each feature a unique download process. Here’s what you can expect when downloading each type of Tennessee betting app:
Android download instructions
- Visit an online bookmaker.
- Look for the Android icon on the homepage.
- Select the Android icon.
- Follow the download instructions.
iOS download instructions
- Visit the App Store.
- Look for the relevant sportsbook’s app.
- Obtain the app.
You must complete registration before being able to wager. Tennessee betting sites should provide a simple registration process that requires the following information:
- Full name
- Phone number
- Mailing address
- Bonus code (if applicable)
After filling out the fields, you will need to agree to the site’s terms and conditions before submitting the application. If you’re of age and not on a self-exclusion list, the bookmaker’s approval should come instantly.
You will be able to download a Tennessee sports betting app and register from any state. However, you won’t be able to place wagers until you’re within state lines.
Betting sites use geolocation to determine where you’re located. As long as you’re within Tennessee borders, you shouldn’t experience any trouble making bets.
The only exceptions are when you’re near state borders or getting bad reception in the mountains. You can try contacting the relevant betting site for help in these instances.
Available Online Bets in Tennessee
The Volunteer State will likely feature a wide array of bet types. Probable wagers that’ll be available in Tennessee include:
- Moneyline: You bet on one team or outcome to win. Each outcome offers different winnings to even out the betting action.
- Spread: The favorite and underdog both receive different point spreads. You wager on which team will cover its spread.
- Over/under: You’re betting on whether two teams will combine to score over or under a given point total (e.g., over/under 203.5 points).
- Parlay: You choose 2+ outcomes within the same wager. Each outcome must win for your bet to be a winner. Parlays pay more than regular bets due to their difficulty.
- Teaser: This bet also calls on you to select 2+ outcomes. However, you get the added benefit of point spreads shifting in your favor (e.g., Chicago Bulls +4.5 becomes Bulls +11.5).
- Prop bet: A wager on an outcome that’s not associated with the final score.
- Live bet: These bets become available even after a game has already started.
TN Betting Markets
The Tennessee Lottery maintains authority over what betting markets are legal in the state. They’ve chosen to allow wagering on most sports.
Here’s a comprehensive list of what markets to expect in the Volunteer State:
- Auto racing
- Basketball (NBA & college)
- Football (NFL & college)
- Mixed martial arts (UFC)
What can’t you bet on in Tennessee?
The Volunteer State won’t allow you to wager on high school sports. This provision is standard in every US market so far.
You also won’t be able to place prop bets on college sports. This stipulation helps protect amateur athletes from being subject to corruption involving prop wagers.
Popular Tennessee Teams to Bet on
Tennessee features a nice mixture of local professional and college sports teams. The following teams should draw lots of betting action from Tennesseans:
- Tennessee Titans (NFL)
- Memphis Grizzlies (NBA)
- University of Tennessee (football & basketball)
- University of Memphis (football & basketball)
- Vanderbilt University (football & basketball)
Depositing at TN Betting Sites
This state will provide several ways to deposit. Likely banking options include:
- Visa, Mastercard: These credit cards provide instant funding.
- ACH: Send an e-check from your bank to a TN online sportsbook.
- PayPal, Skrill: Fund your account with one of these popular e-wallets.
- Play+ card: Use a branded prepaid card to make a deposit.
- PayNearMe: Deposit with cash in person at a local 7-Eleven.
Tennessee Sports Betting Bonuses
Bonuses give you an opportunity to boost your bankroll. Tennessee online sportsbooks are set to provide plenty of these opportunities.
Here are bonus deals you expect in the Volunteer State:
- Risk-free bet: You get an opportunity to win back funds from a losing first bet.
- No-deposit bonus: You receive a small bonus just for completing registration.
- Match-deposit bonus: The betting site matches your first deposit up to a given amount.
- Odds boost: The bookmaker slashes the juice (vig) they collect from a specified bet—thus boosting your odds.
Each Tennessee sports betting bonus will come with terms and conditions. Common T&Cs include:
- Rollover: You must wager a through multiple of the bonus (e.g., 10x) before cashing out.
- Rollover time frame: A bookmaker caps the amount of time you have to meet rollover.
- Claim time frame: You must claim your bonus within a specified period.
- Minimum odds: You must wager at specified odds or above (e.g., -150 odds and above).
- Maximum bet: You can’t bet over a set amount when meeting rollover.
- Bonus code: You may need to enter a bonus code to qualify for an offer.
History of Online Sports Betting in Tennessee?
Tennessee lawmakers first became intrigued by sports gambling after the fall of PASPA, a federal ban on sports betting that existed until May 2018.
With PASPA gone, State Rep. Rick Staples introduced the Tennessee Sports Gaming Act (HB 1) in 2019. Staples dealt with plenty of challenges when passing HB 1.
For example, one lawmaker wanted to ban sports gambling on Sundays for religious reasons. However, they eventually rescinded their suggestion after it appeared unpopular.
The Sports Gaming Act passed the State Senate and House by Apr. 30, 2019. It then moved to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk.
Lee proved a reluctant party and chose not to sign. By Tennessee standards, though, his nonaction allowed the legislation to become law.
Online bookmakers have been busy obtaining licensing and setting up ever since. The first TN betting sites may be live by Nov. 2020.
Yes. Tennessee legalized internet sports gambling in 2019. The first TN online sportsbooks went live in November 2020.
The Volunteer State doesn’t feature legal brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. It also doesn’t offer any casinos to house retail sportsbooks.
Of course, politicians could’ve still legalized retail sports gambling just in case. However, they chose not to go this route.
No. Any qualified resident or visitor can place bets in Tennessee as long as they’re within state lines.
You must be at least 21 years old to place wagers in the Volunteer State. Bookmakers require age verification to ensure that you’re old enough to bet online.
Yes. The Tennessee Lottery regulates the betting industry to ensure that operators behave responsibly. It also has protections in place for problem gamblers.
The Volunteer State requires bookmakers to hold a minimum of 10% of all betting action. This minimum hold is nearly double what other markets take in.
Politicians demanded this large hold to ensure that the state makes enough money off of sports gambling. However, the 10% hold also creates more unfavorable odds for bettors.
By comparison, most states only collect 5-6% juice (approx. 10% from the losing side) on the total betting action.
Yes. DraftKings is one of three bookmakers that currently hold a license in Tennessee. The other two licensed sites include BetMGM and FanDuel.
No. Tennessee doesn’t tax any kind of income. Of course, you do need to cover a 24% federal tax rate on gambling winnings.
The Tennessee Lottery hasn’t made a determination on esports at this time. If it falls in line with other sports gambling regulators, it’ll likely take a long time to approve esports betting.