Sports betting was legalized in Tennessee back in May of 2019. However, it took nearly a year for the state to finalize rules and regulations for legal sports betting. Finally, after 11 months, rules and regulations for sports betting in the Volunteer State have been approved, unanimously.
Sports betting in Tennessee will be mobile only betting as there are no casinos in Tennessee. Having mobile sports betting is key for states to maximize their revenue potential. So while that is a huge plus for bettors in the state of Tennessee, some of their rules and regulations for sports betting aren’t exactly favorable for those bettors.
In one of the more questionable rules you will find across the country in regards to legal sports betting, Tennessee will cap the amount of a bettor’s win to 90 percent of their original wager. This mandated 10 percent hold is the first in the country. While it will help generate more revenue for the state in terms of per bet, it is likely to keep some bettors traveling to nearby bordering states to place bets instead.
For the casual small game bettor, this may not be as big of an issue as big money bettors. For those who like to line shop and place down large bets, this extra juice is going to be a big issue. So while Tennessee will get a bigger slice of the pie, there may not be as much pie to get a slice of as there would have been without this ridiculous rule.
To compare Tennessee’s minimum 10 percent hold rule, that is nearly twice the historical average of Nevada, which is around five percent.
On top of that rule, operators in Tennessee will be paying a fairly high licensing fee and tax rate. Operators will be required to pay a $750,000 licensing fee and revenue will be taxed at 20 percent. It is clear that Tennessee is looking to do everything possible to get money from both operators and bettors for state revenue.
Those wishing to operate in Tennessee can begin applying for licensing as soon as next week. After applying, the Tennessee Lottery will have up to 90 days to approve licensing. Assuming there will be sports to bet on, Tennessee could see legal sports betting launch sometime this summer, perhaps as soon as July.