Last updated on: May 10th, 2022
Legal Tennessee Sports Betting
As one of the newest states to enter into the US sports wagering market, there are plenty of legal Tennessee sports betting options for those that reside in the state. Titans fans and Grizzlies diehards have been placing bets on games for years, easily cashing out their winnings. How is this possible given that sports betting was only formally legalized in Tennessee in May 2019? Well, it’s simple: Residents of the state have been using offshore sports betting sites to place their wagers online! There is often a great deal of confusion concerning the legality of online sports betting in TN, but once you become familiar with the laws that are in place, you will understand why so many sports fans use online sportsbooks.
To better understand legal sports betting in Tennessee, there are federal laws that you should know in addition to the new TN sports betting laws. The federal government is responsible for the current state of sports betting in America, as the overturn of PASPA finally made it legal for each state to determine their own laws and regulations for legal sports betting within their borders. Tennessee took the bait and decided to legalize sports betting only a few hours before the end of the 2019 legislative session, passing HB 1 on to the governor. However, Gov. Bill Lee (R) is a staunch anti-gambling politician, and he refused to sign the bill. However, he didn’t veto the bill, as it had bipartisan, veto-proof support. Thus, HB 1 passed into law by default on May 24, 2019. Generally speaking, you will be pleasantly surprised to learn about the level of effort that the TN state government put into their new gambling law. Further, so you fully understand your land-based and online betting options, we will discuss all aspects of legal Tennessee sports betting.
- Sports betting became regulated in Tennessee on May 24, 2020 offering only mobile sportsbooks and no retail options.
- Tennessee was the first state to be mobile betting only but bans Tennessee sportsbooks from offering odds on NCAA prop bets.
- These restrictions (Tennessee-locked and college betting bans) are not found when using online betting sites.
Is Bovada Legal In Tennessee?
Bovada is legal in Tennessee, and can be accessed in the state simply by visiting their website on either a computer or mobile device. While Tennessee does have a thriving mobile betting ecosystem, Bovada still has plenty of uses for anyone in the state. For example, TN does not allow wagers on political events such as elections, but Bovada does. This also applies to awards shows like the Oscars and the Emmys. For this reason, Bovada still sees plenty of usage in Tennessee, and it’s all legal and above board. TN does not have any laws restricting usage of websites like Bovada.
Bovada is the best online sportsbook available for bettors in Tennessee, as it offers odds on a variety of different things that TN sportsbooks are unable to offer. Bovada will let you place wagers on TN collegiate props and individual athletes in TN college games, while the regulated books in TN will not. This makes Bovada very useful for bettors in Tennessee.
- Promotions and Bonuses
- Mobile friendly website
- Live Betting features
- 24/7 Customer Service
- Deposit Methods – Bitcoin
MyBookie is a great sportsbook for bettors in Tennessee, as they are easily able to offer wagers that the regulated TN books cannot. For example, you can wager on politics and entertainment, as well as college props at MyBookie, but you cannot do this at the regulated books. MyBookie offers a ton of upside to betting fans in Tennessee.
- Huge Player Bonuses
- Consistent Odds
- Easy Interface
- Rapid Live Betting
- Legal In Tennessee
BetOnline, as one of the top offshore sportsbooks, is a great option for bettors who want to wager on more than the TN sportsbooks can give them. With wagers ranging from traditional sports wagers to political and reality TV betting, you can wager on more things at BetOnline than you can at any regulated TN sportsbook. This wide variety of available wagers makes BetOnline a top option in TN.
- Reliable Banking Methods
- Strong Server Connection
- 10+ Year Track Record
- Huge Assortment Of Odds
- No App Mobile Betting
SportsBetting’s online sportsbook offerings are quite solid, especially in the context of the limited offerings of regulated books in TN. Regulated books cannot offer politics, entertainment or reality TV betting, nor can they offer college prop betting. SportsBetting can, and does, offer all of these things, which makes it a very useful tool for TN sports bettors.
- Efficient Site Layout
- Full Mobile Betting Suite
- Available Customer Service
- Trustworthy Banking Options
- Fast Payout Times
XBet’s offerings as a sportsbook in Tennessee are far beyond those of the regulated sportsbooks in the state. This is because its offshore location allows XBet to offer a bunch of wagers that are regulated in TN, such that normal TN sportsbooks cannot offer them. You can find these wagers, plus competitive odds on everything a normal TN sportsbook has, at XBet.
- Worry-free Legal Betting
- Exclusive Bonus Offers
- Constantly Updated Odds
- Premier User Experience
- Full Mobile + Live Betting
|Rank||Sportsbook||Bonus Offer||Play Now|
|1||50% Up To $250 Read Review||Visit Bovada!|
|2||50% New Member Bonus!Read Review||Visit BetOnline!|
|3||50% Up To $1,000 Read Review||Visit MyBookie!|
|4||100% Up To $2,500||Visit BetUS!|
|5||100% Up To $300Read Review||Visit Xbet!|
|6||50% Up To $1,000 Read Review||Visit SportsBetting!|
Timeline Of Tennessee Sports Betting
February 2022 – Fubo approved as 10th online sportsbook operator in TN.
January 2022 – SWAC takes over as primary regulator for TN sports betting from the TN Lottery.
September 2021 – TN sets a handle record for sports betting in the first month of the NFL season with $375 million bet.
November 2020 – BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and Tennessee 24/7 launch in TN.
April 2020 – State level regulations for sports betting are approved in TN.
July 2019 – Sports betting is legalized in Tennessee.
April 2019 – Tennessee HB0001 and SB0016 and HB0001 are approved by the Tennessee Legislature.
Action 24/7 Sportsbook
Action 24/7 bills itself as the local Tennessee sportsbook – a sportsbook that is built for and by TN locals, not partnered with a megacorporation that runs sportsbooks in every state that is possible. They offer solid free play games, as well as excellent online sports betting options. Their bonuses are reasonable, and their app is available on iPhones and Androids.
Barstool Sportsbook is a product of a joint venture between Barstool Sports and Penn National Gaming, meaning you’ll get the same odds on this sportsbook as you would in a Penn National book in any other state. Barstool is making a big push for market share, and they might have some very solid bonuses, but keep an eye on their rollover.
BetMGM is a very solid sportsbook for Tennessee’s sports bettors to access, and with a widely available and easy to use app, it’s not hard to see why. BetMGM is about as good as retail books get in TN, although it does fall short in terms of wager variety when compared to several of the top online sportsbooks.
Caesars Sportsbook, made famous by their advertising blitz in 2021/2022, is one of the more highly regarded sportsbooks in Tennessee. It’s top 4 in the state in terms of usage rates, and a very commonly selected option by TN sports bettors. Caesars provides a competent app and a usefully large amount of sports to wager on.
DraftKings is one of the biggest sportsbooks in the state of TN, and around America. They started out as a major daily fantasy sports company and have parlayed that spot into being a major sportsbook. Speaking of parlays, DraftKings is a great sportsbook for people who enjoy parlaying, with their parlay building tool being very useful.
FanDuel is a great sportsbook for TN bettors, providing a ton of options to those in the regulated sports betting market. Of course ,as a regulated book, it does have some drawbacks compared to online sportsbooks located outside of the state, but it’s about as good as the regulated books get.
TwinSpires is one of the lower end sportsbooks in the state as far as we are concerned. It’s a fine book, but nothing about it stands out, and it’s also looking like TwinSpires may cease sportsbook operations at some point in the future. This means that we do not recommend using TwinSpires at the moment.
Wagr is a social sports betting app, the idea being that you wager against other people, not against the house. This means that it’s not exactly a traditional sportsbook, but it still provides some of the utility of one. You can get a lot out of Wagr, and it’s definitely a useful option to have in TN.
WynnBET is a sportsbook that focuses on big promotions and excellent betting offers. Operated by one of the largest gambling companies in America, you can be sure that you’ll get something in range of sharp lines no matter what you wager on. It has the same drawbacks as all the regulated books, but if you’re looking for a regulated book, you could do a lot worse.
Tennessee Sports Betting And Gambling Laws
Tennessee sports betting has been legalized finally, but overall, the state has strict requirements when it comes to gambling, including the limited charitable gaming available. TCA § 3-17-101 et seq. describes the Tennessee Nonprofit Gaming law which permits nonprofits to hold annual games of chance-based fundraising events. All proceeds must directly benefit the charity, with the law prohibiting 50/50 raffles.
All states have their own definition of “gambling,” but Tennessee has one of the most restrictive in the nation. The law explains why you will not find any casinos within the entire state. TCA § 39-17-501 et seq. defines gambling in the following way:
“Gambling is contrary to the public policy of this state and means risking anything of value for a profit whose return is to any degree contingent on chance, or any games of chance associated with casinos, including, but not limited to, slot machines, roulette wheels and the like.”
Changes To Tennessee Sports Betting Coming In 2022
Tennessee passed legislation on May 5 to switch the regulator of the sports betting industry from the Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL) to the Sports Wagering Advisory Council (SWAC). Senate Bill 588 allows the nine-member board of SWAC to take the lead on all sports betting market regulations in the Volunteer State. Currently, SWAC provides their input to the TEL during meetings on sports gaming who then makes the final decisions. But on January 1, 2022, SWAC will officially head up the regulatory duties for the Tennessee sports betting industry and the TEL will sit in on the meetings to offer their opinions. The same two entities will be at the head of the market, only their roles will be reversed. Mary Beth Thomas’ served her first day as the executive director of Tennessee’s Sports Wagering Advisory Council on November 1.
When Will The Legal Tennessee Sports Betting Market Launch?
Tennessee’s legal sports betting platforms launched on November 1, 2020. The Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL) was finally able to stick to a deadline with the sports wagering market and rolled out the mobile applications on the scheduled date, which was the last of many potential launch dates that the Volunteer State had seen since the industry became legal in May 2019. By law, Tennessee is strictly a mobile and internet sports betting state, offering no retail locations to their residents. On the day sportsbooks opened to the public, there were four licensed operators.
Many more are expected to be seen in the future as there is no cap to the number of sports betting businesses that can offer their services to Tennessee gambling enthusiasts after receiving licensure by the TEL. Sports bettors that were waiting for this day to arrive for well over a year wasted no time in placing bets. Within it’s first eight days as an operational business, the four sportsbooks in Tennessee brought in a combined handle of $27 million.
Tennessee Sports Betting Revenue
Tennessee sports betting launched in November of 2020 to the impressive revenue tune of $13 million per month for a total of $27 million in the only two active months of 2020. Due to the 20% tax sharing model, the Tennessee state government earns an average of $2.3 million in taxes every month. Tennessee sportsbooks handled roughly $1.2 billion in the first two quarters of 2021, resulting in $106 million in revenue. In only its first year of wagering activity, Tennessee became the fifth-fastest sports betting state to break a $2 billion handle after it broke its monthly wagering record in October 2021 when it took in a $375 million handle. In January 2022, Tennessee broke their handle record from October with around $386 million in sports betting handle on the month. Tennessee’s sportsbooks took a bit of a step back in February 2022 – despite a $23.1 million Super Bowl betting handle – with revenues down 18.8% compared to January. This led to Tennessee’s smallest sports betting handle and revenue figures since September 2021, ending the football betting season.
What Teams Can I Bet On?
Tennessee is home to a very strong sports culture thanks to the local college teams. Many Tennessee residents are die-hard local sports fans which is what makes sports betting in Tennessee so enticing. Online sportsbooks host betting lines for college teams like the University of Memphis and the University of Tennessee. Tennessee is also home to NBA team the Memphis Grizzlies and NFL team the Tennessee Titans. Tennessee sports bettors aren’t limited to local teams, however, since online sportsbooks offer residents of the Volunteer State betting lines from all teams in all major sports. you can bet on any sporting event, team, player, match, or fight that you want and all the odds and betting lines will be available at legal sports betting sites.
|Belmont University Bruins||Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders||University of Memphis Tigers|
|University of Tennessee Volunteers||Vanderbilt University Commodores|
|Nashville Predators (NHL)||Tennessee Titans (NFL)||Memphis Grizzlies (NBA)|
Betting On The NFL In Tennessee
Tennessee betting fans looking to wager on the Tennessee Titans this season have a lot of options. Tennessee is a regulated mobile-only betting market with several local sportsbook sportsbooks active. These operators all have odds for the Tennessee Titans as well as all NFL teams this season. For local betting fans looking for the best odds, however, legal online sportsbooks offer even more variety. There are odds for the Titans games this season as well as odd for player and team props. Bettors can wager on how many rushing yards Derrick Henry will run for as well as how many passing TDs Ryan Tannehill will throw this season. Betting on the Tennessee Titans is done best at online sportsbooks.
How To Bet On The Volunteers In Tennessee
Sports bettors in Tennessee can be confused to find that they are unable to wager on college props. This is due to state laws which prevent such wagers being placed by bettors of the state. Bettors that would still like to bet Tennessee Volunteer prop bets can still do so on an internationally-based sportsbook like Bovada. These sportsbooks fall outside of the purview of U.S. state and federal laws.
Potential Economic Impact Of Full Sports Betting In Tennessee
Although Tennessee legalized sports betting in May 2019, its situation was somewhat unusual in that there was no infrastructure or comprehensive plan in place to launch a state sports betting industry when HB 1 passed. Instead, the law left it up to individual municipalities to determine whether or not they want to authorize sportsbooks. Because of this, Tennessee is way behind the 8-ball on developing a full-fledged industry out of sports gambling, but we can still do an economic impact analysis to examine what the impact of full statewide betting could be.
In the United States, there are nine states that report comprehensive financial data on sports betting, but two of these states (Nevada and New Jersey) regularly see tens of millions of gambling tourists, which skews numbers. The per capita betting handle of the other seven states is $149.64 per year. The national average hold rate, or the percentage of bets that sportsbook capture as revenue, is 6.97%. The tax rate on sports betting revenue in Tennessee is 10%. With its population of 6.77 million people, this is the potential economic impact of full-scale sports betting legalization:
- Total Annual Sports Betting Handle: $1.01 billion
- Total Annual Sports Betting Revenue: $70.6 million
- Total Annual Sports Betting Tax Collections: $7.1 million
What Makes Tennessee Different From Other Sports Betting States?
Tennessee’s major innovation in the realm of sports betting was twofold. First, they launched online sportsbooks at the beginning of their sports betting regulation process, and did not bother going through land based casinos in order to provide sports betting. Second, they required a major commitment from the sports betting providers in exchange for such wide access to mobile betting. The providers would be required to maintain a hold percentage above 10% in order to continue operating in Tennessee. This meant that Tennessee effectively created a closed market with a guarantee of profit – all sportsbooks would have to set their odds in order to meet that 10% hold.
The Lack Of Retail Sports Betting In Tennessee
Because Tennessee approached sports betting regulation in this manner, there are no retail sportsbooks in Tennessee, but that has not been an impediment to their quickly-growing industry. In fact, it has been an inspiration to other states, some of which have adopted Tennessee’s online only posture after the state became one of the most profitable sports betting states by the six-month mark. However, few other states are adopting Tennessee’s hold percentage regulations, and one wonders if they might be missing a key piece of the puzzle.
Tennessee’s Unique Online-Only Sports Betting Model
When Tennessee legalized sports betting in a mobile-only context, it was the first state to do so. Several states have now followed suit. The solution originally came up as a way of placating Gov. Bill Lee, who was adamantly against any method of expanding actual casino placement in the state. However, it swiftly became clear that Tennessee’s online-only method was actually more efficient than other methods. The first month of Tennessee sports betting saw a handle of over $130 million, in a state where less than seven million people live. It only got bigger from there, and Tennessee has since demonstrated the efficiency of this model by outperforming several similarly sized states.
Tennessee’s 10% Hold Requirements
Tennessee is the only state in the nation that directly addresses the hold percentage that sportsbooks take in. Hold percentage is the profit a sportsbook makes on a wager – the difference between the two sides of it that is effectively the sportsbook’s cut. Tennessee requires that each wager have a 10% hold percentage.
However, on aggregate, Tennessee’s sportsbooks never seem to actually reach that 10% hold when taken as a whole. In the entirety of 2021, they only hit an aggregate hold of 10% in two months – November and January. Repercussions have not hit the sportsbooks yet, and it’s unclear if Tennessee would want them to, but it is possible that the regulated sportsbooks in the state could be looking at punishment for low hold percentage.
Betting Restrictions In Tennessee
Tennessee applied several betting restrictions to those who would wish to operate sportsbooks in the state. The most onerous by far is a restriction on live bets and prop bets on collegiate athletics. However, this restriction is fairly minor compared to the way some states treat collegiate athletics – banning wagers on it altogether. Another major restriction is that you can only bet on actual sporting events, and not on other events such as awards shows or television shows.
However, online sportsbooks operating offshore do allow access to wagers on those events, as well as access to collegiate props and live betting. These offshore sportsbooks are easily accessible in Tennessee, and can be found via computers and smartphones easily.
Can I Bet Real Money On Sports In Tennessee?
Yes, online sportsbooks allow you to bet real money on sports in Tennessee. You can bet on the Super Bowl, March Madness, the Masters, and other major sporting events. Real money sports betting sites have instant deposit options so that you can start betting on sports the same day. When it comes time to collect your winnings, methods like Bitcoin ensure that your cash is delivered within hours. Betting real money on sports in Tennessee is the most exciting way to wager.
What Is the Sports Betting Age In Tennessee?
The sports betting age in Tennessee is 21 years old. Standard to most states, once you are 21 or older you can have your pick of any online sportsbook. Keep in mind that legal sports betting sites are licensed in other countries like the UK where the betting age may be lower. You still need to wait until after your 21st birthday before joining an online sportsbook. The legal age to bet on sports in TN always takes precedence over the age required by the sportsbook.
Where To Bet In Tennessee In 2022
The closest place to bet in Tennessee is within inches of you through your mobile phone and its access to one of the many mobile sportsbooks in the state. There are also a number of sports wagering platforms on the internet that are legal and available to Tennesseans with a variety of betting lines open. These sites allow for real money sports betting like that of the state’s sportsbook applications. Retail sports betting venues are not legal in the Volunteer State. If gamblers are looking for a brick-and-mortar experience, they’ll need to cross state lines to find it. Luckily, neighboring states like Mississippi and Arkansas have these options for the traveling Tennessee sports betting players. Below is a list of the closest cities where people in Tennessee can drive to and wager on sporting events at a land-based sportsbook.
- West Memphis, AR
- Tunica Resorts, MS
- Biloxi, MS
- Greenville, MS
- Vicksburg, MS
Still, you can wager on sports while remaining in the state if you use a legitimate TN sports betting site. You can bet on the Tennessee Titans and all of your other favorite teams from anywhere that you have an Internet connection. The state-licensed sites will surely be good, but they’ll have weighted lines for home teams. However, despite the new TN law, offshore sports betting sites remain totally legal in the state, too. These offshore sportsbooks offer Vegas-style sports betting action without the requisite airfare or hotel stay that betting in Sin City entails. Though there are no places to bet on sports in TN like there are in sports betting states like Nevada, residents oftentimes get more betting options, like live in-game betting, than from online sportsbooks located overseas. Additionally, since TN law forbids wagering on collegiate props, those who want the most comprehensive NCAA books for betting on the Vols and other top teams must do so via one or more overseas sports betting sites.
Available Tennessee Mobile Sportsbook Apps
Tennessee has seven active local sportsbooks after a year of being regulated. Big names like DraftKings, BetMGMG, Caesars, and FanDuel are available statewide alongside the likes of Action 247, a local sportsbook. Being a mobile-only market, Tennessee has managed to see much success with its sports betting offerings. More sportsbooks are expected to launch in Tennessee in the future as well with the Sports Wagering Advisory Council (SWAC) constantly fielding applications. The available mobile sports wagering applications for sports bettors in Tennessee are:
- Action 247
- Caesars Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
Horse Racing Betting In Tennessee
Horse racing betting in Tennessee is not illegal, but you will not find any live tracks in the Volunteer State. The state repealed the 1987 Racing Control Act in 2015, which served as the regulatory framework for horse racing. Since being abolished, the state has created a Horse Racing Advisory Committee to research the potential impact of bringing horse racing back to the state.
Horse enthusiasts in Tennessee can still play the ponies using online racebooks. Racebooks allow you to bet on races at Thoroughbred and harness tracks all over the US and select countries in the rest of the world. The same horse bets that you would place at the faraway track in question can be placed online, such as win, place, show, and exotic bets. Online racebooks also have horse rebates and extra bonuses just for signing up. Betting on horses in Tennessee is more fun when you use horse betting sites.
Daily Fantasy Sports In Tennessee
Sports fans can play daily fantasy sports (DFS) in Tennessee as much as they’d like. Former Governor Bill Haslam (R) regulated daily fantasy sports by signing the Fantasy Sports Act of 2016. Tennessee was the third state to regulate DFS contests and create a legal framework governing the pastime. The Fantasy Sports Act requires operators to pay a 6% tax on revenue generated by TN residents and also stipulates that certain consumer protections must be in place. All participants in contests must be at least 18 years old.
Legal Tennessee Sports Betting FAQs
Where Is The Best Place To Bet On Sports In Tennessee?
The best place to bet on sports in Tennessee is from your laptop or smartphone. There is nothing more convenient than being able to bet on the Memphis Grizzlies from the comfort of your own home (or wherever else you happen to be at the moment). You can even put the game on TV or live-stream the main event while keeping your online sportsbook’s window open. Live betting odds let you wager on sports in real-time, too. Even if there were physical sportsbooks in Tennessee, there are exclusive benefits to using online, offshore sportsbooks, like huge bonuses that you can only get when betting online.
Should I Use A Local Bookie In Tennessee?
No, you should not. While it isn’t expressly unlawful to use a black-market bookie, it’s not a good idea. You as a bettor aren’t breaking any laws, but as a bookmaker, your bookie absolutely is. That means that even though you aren’t a target for law enforcement, just betting with a local bookie means you could get caught up in a police dragnet. Further, when betting with a local bookie, there is no legal or financial recourse if that bookie splits town with your winnings or simply refuses to pay out on a big bet. Plus, local bookies don’t offer even a tenth of the action that a state-licensed or offshore online sportsbook does.
Can I Bet On Sports With My Friends In Tennessee?
Legally, you cannot bet on sports with your friends in Tennessee. The state does not permit social gambling on any level. Tennessee Code §39-17-501 through §39-17- 509 discusses gambling definitions along with offenses, and there are no exclusions for social gambling. That said, you and your friends can easily join an online sportsbook where you will all be able to choose from thousands of wagering options on TN and US sports each and every week.
When Did Sports Betting Become Legal In Tennessee?
Tennessee legalized sports betting in 2019 when Governor Bill Lee decided not to veto nor sign the measure that would legalize sports betting. In allowing the bill to come into law without his signature, Tennessee was the first state to approve sports betting without the approval of their governor. Additionally, Tennessee was the first state to legalize sports betting in an online-only platform. This is due to the fact that there are no casinos within the state. The industry is expected to launch before the summer of 2020.
How Many Sportsbooks Are In Tennessee?
In an interesting case, Tennessee technically has none or unlimited sportsbooks, depending on how you look at it. With no brick and mortar outlets, residents and visitors are restricted to using the state-licensed online platforms that were approved into law. This works out best for most gamblers anyway but the state also permits the expansion of books being located in gambling establishments, as long as the voters in the town approve the idea.