Legal Tennessee Sports Betting

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.


Bovada Sportsbook

The Volunteer State’s favorite Online Sportsbook

Sports bettors in Tennessee have a variety of betting avenues open to them as the state has regulated sports betting available. Those looking to bet outside of state-backed sportsbooks are in luck as Bovada has been accepting players from Tennessee for decades. Bovada is an industry-leading sports betting site that is free for Tennessee residents to open an account with. Whether wanting to legally bet on the Tennessee Titans or Memphis Grizzlies, Bovada allows bettors to do that and more. With an easy to use mobile site that brings an entire array of betting odds right to the palm of your hands.

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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.

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.

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

Where To Bet In Tennessee In 2021

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

The Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL) is continually approving operators to launch mobile sports betting apps in Tennessee. There are six sportsbook apps open in Tennessee with a seventh approved but not yet live. The available mobile sports wagering applications for sports bettors in Tennessee are:

  • Action 247
  • BetMGM
  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • TwinSpires
  • William Hill
  • WynnBet (not yet live)

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

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.

Is Online Sports Betting Safe In Tennessee?

Online sports betting in Tennessee is completely safe no matter which method of online sports betting you choose. If you use sites that are regulated by the state government then you can rest easy knowing that state regulators have your back in case something goes wrong. Offshore sportsbooks are also a safe option in that you won’t be breaking any laws and the sites we recommend have a long reputation of serving TN sports bettors and paying out on time.

Will Sports Betting In Tennessee Ever Be Legal?

Without any casinos, it was believed that sports betting in Tennessee would never be more than a pipe dream. However, that dream is now a reality as state-licensed online sportsbooks have been legalized. The operators that will accept wagers have yet to be determined, but you can also bet at offshore wagering sites in the meantime. Once the in-state options go live, you will have more online betting options in Tennessee than you ever thought possible!

Will I Get Arrested For Sports Betting In Tennessee?

No, there is not a risk of getting arrested for sports betting in Tennessee. This does, of course, depend on where you plan on placing your bets. If using an offshore online sportsbook for legal Tennessee sports betting, law enforcement will have no reason to arrest you. If you were attempting bookmaking or using an underground bookmaker, then you would be subject to legal penalties.

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.

Are There Mobile Sports Betting Apps Available In Tennessee?

Mobile sports betting apps in Tennessee are still on their way. State officials have been slow to launch apps but are in a position to do so sometime in 2020. For now, you can still access online offshore sportsbooks right from your smartphone’s mobile browser. These sites will automatically adjust to fit your device’s screen and give you the same look and feel of an app without having to download anything. This saves you storage space while also giving you the best lines available.

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.