Tennessee is better known for country music than a vibrant gambling industry, so it was a surprise when the Volunteer State legalized online sports betting in 2019. More than a year later, TN online sports betting apps launched on November 1st, 2020. However, with no brick and mortar casinos in Tennessee, and Gov. Bill Lee adamant on his stance against online and land-based casinos, Tennessee’s online casino gambling legalization will not see the light of day any time soon.
Online gambling is now available in TN, as Tennessee legalized sports betting in 2019.
Tennessee sports betting went live on Nov 1 2020, after the legalization of online gambling in Tennessee. In addition to online sports wagering, daily fantasy sports, betting on horse races, and lottery games are allowed for Tennessee gamblers. However, there are no land-based casinos in the state, and there is no plan to legalize casino gambling any time soon. Tennessee sports betting market is regulated by the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation, for now together with the Sports Wagering Advisory Council, which is supposed to take over from the Lottery this year.
⭐ Tennessee Sports Betting
Rep. Rick Staples introduced the HB 0001 to the state legislature in 2018, and the Tennessee sports betting bill became a law in May 2019 when Gov. Bill Lee let it pass into a state law without his signature. This sports betting law made Tennessee the first state in the United States to legalize without any casinos or retail betting locations. However, Tennesseans had to wait until November 2020 before online sportsbooks actually opened. With a fairly high revenue tax and licensing fee, TN hasn’t seen a similar sportsbook apps explosion like other states, and offshore sportsbooks still gain new players.
Sports Betting Rules and Regulations
Sports betting in Tennessee launched on Nov 1, 2020, and they became the first state to offer online wagering without an existing gaming industry. As of now, there are still no Tennessee casinos, and the legal sportsbooks have few restrictions from the Tennessee regulator. One of the notable regulations is the 10% hold, which applies to all legal sports wagering and makes the betting lines worse compared to illegal options available. Tennessee online sports betting operators continue to demand the hold to be revoked, but thus far have not had success. The tax rate is 20%, and tax revenue from the gross gaming revenue will be used on education, local programs and problem gambling.
Tennessee bettors can place bets anywhere on the state with very few limitations; the only prohibited wagers are in-game bets on college sports. Common bets are moneyline, point spread, total, parlay, and future.
In order to sign up at one of the books, TN regulations demand that a sports bettor provide some personal information for identity verification during the registration process, such as phone number, email address, and social security number. Geolocation technology ensures that all users are within Tennessee state lines. Finally, you must be 21 years old to participate in legal gambling.
Sports Betting Sites
Tennessee’s sports betting market is growing rapidly. Although the state debuted with four sports betting licenses, several other sites have also received a sports betting license. Online sportsbooks give players up to $1,100 in bonus money to bet on sports in Tennessee. All operators also give out competitive ongoing promotions. Note that there are no retail sportsbooks in Tennessee, so you need to use the websites or download an iOS or Android app on your mobile devices.
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⭐ Tennessee Online Casinos
Online casinos are not legal in Tennessee, and there are no in-state casinos either. People have a strict attitude towards casino gambling in Tennessee, and Gov. Bill Lee has called this type of gambling “destructive”. Therefore, Tennessee residents should not hold their breath waiting for a new gambling expansion. Governor Lee actually praised the bill makers from excluding Tennessee’s online casinos from the legislation when the sports betting bill was introduced. Social casinos with some slot games are allowed, but they don’t offer games like video poker.
If you wish to play online slots for real money, you need to travel to a state where playing casino games online is legal, like like Pennsylvania or Michigan. While we hope TN will make all forms of gambling legal, casino sites will not be up in a couple of years in the Volunteer State.
Online poker as cash games is also against the Tennessee law. If you play poker on offshore sites, you are guilty of a Class C misdemeanor, so we recommend sticking to legal gambling options and visiting Las Vegas or neighboring states when you want to participate in poker games.
Tennessee has legal online sportsbooks but regulated online casinos seem unlikely.
⭐ Daily Fantasy Sports
Daily fantasy sports operators are allowed to operate freely under Tennessee gambling laws, as former Gov. Bill Haslam legalized DFS into Tennessee law back in 2016. Therefore, Tennessee residents can enjoy fantasy sports from national operators like FanDuel and DraftKings.
⭐ Horse Betting
There are no off-track betting venues or horse tracks in Tennessee, but horse race betting is allowed in the state in the form of pari-mutuel wagering. Several horse betting sites offer mobile apps that are completely legal in Tennessee, so you can participate in pari-mutuel wagering pools if you wish. There’s even some talk of getting some actual horse racing going in TN in the foreseeable future.
The Tennessee State Lottery was legalized in 2002 with more than 60% of Tennessee residents voting in favor. Although gambling is not available through the Tennessee lottery, you can follow the state lottery online and buy lottery tickets to participate.
The road to legal online gambling has been long in the U.S., but Tennessee was one of the early adopters of legal gambling sites. In addition, the entire industry is totally online and there is no land-based gambling in the state.
2010: Tennessee allows charitable gambling for non-profit organizations.
2016: The Volunteer State begins to regulate daily fantasy sports with Gov. Bill Haslam signing the bill, right after Tennessee Attorney General rules DFS illegal.
2018: The U.S. Supreme Court rules PASPA as unconstitutional; states can now legalize sports betting and regulate online gaming as they see fit.
2019: Tennessee lawmakers begin to work on online betting regulations.
2020: Mobile sports betting went officially live in Tennessee as the first sportsbooks launched.
Last updated: 11/10/2022
1️⃣ Can I bet online on college teams in Tennessee?
Yes. There is no rule preventing you from wagering on in-state college basketball or college football teams like University of Tennessee or Vanderbilt. However, you can't place in-game wagers on college sporting events like March Madness or prop bets on college athletes, as this is against gambling rules in Tennessee. Aside from live betting, college games offer plenty of pre-game bets.
2️⃣ Can I play online casino games in Tennessee?
Yes, but only on social casinos. Sweepstakes sites offer some games, but not for real money prizes. TN has no plans to add online casino gambling any time soon, and there are no casinos in Tennessee. There are some poker rooms in TN, but they don't involve cash prizes.
3️⃣ Can I play table games for real money in TN?
No, the law in the state of Tennessee does not allow online or retail casinos to operate in the state, and there are no tribal casinos either. If Tennesseans want to play table games, they need to participate at sweepstakes games at social casino sites. Of course, if you wanna try your hand at the roulette wheels or slot machines, you could also cross state lines and gamble at one of the neighboring states.
4️⃣ What banking options are available for legal sports betting in TN?
Debit cards (but not credit cards), bank transfer from your bank account, PayPal & other e-wallets, PayNearMe (7-Eleven, Family Dollar), among others.
5️⃣ Is online gambling legal in Tennessee?
Online gambling in Tennessee is legal when it comes to online sports betting sites and fantasy sports. Legal gambling age is 18 for fantasy sports and 21 for sports betting. You can place a sports bet on professional sports leagues or colleges, and your gambling winnings are taxed on the state level.
However, online casinos and online poker remain illegal, and we don't expect state regulators to change their minds soon.
6️⃣ What can I find on Tennessee sportsbooks?
TN has 9 sites now that Churchill Downs withdrew from wagering on sports; in addition to the major DFS operators DraftKings & FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars and Barstool are some of the options. It's only a matter of time before books like FOX Bet and Fubo Gaming might join the market.
Any Tennessee online sportsbook has options to put TN favorites on sports bettors' bet slip, as Tennessee Titans, Memphis Grizzlies, Nashville SC and Nashville Predators are all widely represented. Some of the sports you can bet on are NFL, soccer, cricket, golf, tennis, motorsports, and rugby.
Since there is no retail sports betting, you must sign up on a sports betting site to wager. You don't need to be a Tennessee resident to register, but you must be within Tennessee borders when betting.