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Tennessee Sports Betting

Following the Supreme Court ruling that found the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) unconstitutional, Rep. Rick Staples sponsored HB 1, a bill that would allow for legal sports betting in Tennessee.

Although the bill faced some opposition in the House of Representatives, the bill passed through the Senate with very little difficulty. However, Governor Bill Lee expressed a reluctance to sign the bill and intimated that he would let it pass into law without his signature. According to state law, a bill doesn’t require the signature of the governor to pass into law.

In June 2019, sports gambling in Tennessee was officially legalized without the governor’s signature. The state then set about creating a legal framework for the regulation of the industry and on November 1st, 2020, legal betting in Tennessee became a reality.

The new legislation only allows for mobile sports betting and there are no plans to introduce new legislation or amend the existing bill to include retail sportsbooks.

Who regulates the Tennessee sports betting industry?

The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation is responsible for all oversight of the Tennessee sports betting industry. This includes the operator license application process and approval along with the collection of sports wagering data and taxes.

Which legal sportsbooks are available in Tennessee?

Tennessee’s sports betting legislation specifies that mobile sports betting is legal while retail sports betting is illegal. This means that there are no retail sportsbooks in Tennessee.

New legislation would be required to launch a retail market and there’s currently no indication that this is on the state’s radar for the foreseeable future.

Tennessee mobile sports betting apps

When mobile sports betting was first legalized, four operators immediately applied for one of the available licenses. BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and Tennessee Action 24/7 all received their licenses almost immediately and were in a position to launch on November 1st 2020.

William Hill, Churchill Downs Inc. (operating as TwinSpires) and WynnBet were the next operators to receive their licenses allowing them to launch in early 2021.

Mobile sportsbooks currently operating in the state are listed below.

Mobile Sportsbook Launch Date
FanDuel November 1st 2020
BetMGM November 1st 2020
DraftKings November 1st 2020
Tennessee Action 24/7 November 1st 2020
TwinSpires January 6th 2021
Caesars/William Hill March 11th 2021
WynnBet April 30th 2021

Given that all license applications have run quite smoothly, we fully expect more operators to enter the market in the coming months and years.

NOTE – Tennessee Action 24/7 had its license suspended in March 2021 as the Education Lottery investigated claims that the operator had failed to implement money laundering protocols following suspicious deposits. However, a court injunction a short while later saw the suspension lifted pending a full investigation.

Daily Fantasy Sports in Tennessee

The Daily Fantasy Sports Act 2016 legalized Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in Tennessee. The Act requires that all operators that wish to launch in the state must apply for a license through the Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming.

The DFS market in Tennessee is quite active with nine licensed operators now in the state.

According to the Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming, these operators are:

  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • Fantasy Sports Shark, LLC
  • OwnersBox 3.0 Corporation
  • RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
  • ​SportsHub Technologies, Inc.
  • Two Nine Sports, Inc.
  • Underdog Sports, Inc.
  • Yahoo!​

What about online poker in Tennessee?

Tennessee currently prohibits all forms of casino gambling. This means that there are no bricks and mortar casinos or licensed online options. The state has a history of coming down hard on any form of gambling activity but the passing of both DFS and sports betting legislation seems to indicate a change in the tides.

However, it would seem highly unlikely that the legislators would consider passing mobile casino or poker legislation without first exploring the potential of a retail industry. We can’t see this one happening any time soon but the same was said of sports betting not that long ago.

Image credit: Ed Schipul / CC BY 2.0

Tennessee sports betting frequently asked questions

  • Is sports betting legal in Tennessee?

    Yes, sports betting was legalized in Tennessee in June 2019 and launched in November 2020.

  • Is mobile sports betting legal in Tennessee?

    Yes, mobile sports betting is legal and is the only option available in Tennessee.

  • Are there any retail sportsbooks in Tennessee?

    No, retail sports betting is illegal according to state law.

  • What's the legal age for sports betting in Tennessee?

    Anyone that wishes to place a wager on a Tennessee sports betting app must be 21 years of age or older.

  • What sports can I bet on in Tennessee?

    You can bet on all major and college sports in Tennessee. However, in-play betting on college sporting events is prohibited.

  • How do I create an account for a sports betting app?

    You can register through your chosen app but you must provide a valid ID and social security number.