Sports betting in Tennessee became a reality in the fall of 2020. It took nearly a year and a half after legislation legalized sports betting in the Volunteer State, but better late than never has been a mantra for a lot of states as it pertains to this topic. Legislation passed in April 2019 and went through without the signature of Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, who said that he would allow the bill to go into law whether or not he signed off on it.
Tennessee is a state with no retail gaming facilities, so it is the first fully remote state to legalize sports betting. That means that all wagering will be done online or mobile. It also means that everybody in the state will have access to sign up for sports betting accounts and use them whenever physically located inside the borders of the state.
The epicenter of sports betting will undoubtedly be Nashville, where tourists and visiting fans regularly flock to enjoy good food, good music, and their teams in an away game setting. We’ll have to see how much of Tennessee’s handle comes from residents and how much comes from weekend warriors and weekday travelers taking in the sounds and sounds on Broadway.
Our chief job here at ATS is to give you the who, what, where, when, and why across all of the states with legalized sports betting. In our quest to do that, we rank the sportsbooks in each state based on a variety of factors, including the betting interface and technology, sign-up bonuses, ease of use, the number of betting markets and the fairness of the odds, and with a staff that has decades of experience in the sports betting industry.
Below is the most current list of the best Tennessee sportsbooks and their online websites and mobile apps.
At the outset, three sportsbooks were said to be first to go live in Tennessee. Those are BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel. Additional operators are sure to pay the licensing cost of $750,000 annually, so we are very likely to see Bet Rivers, PointsBet, William Hill, BetAmerica, Fox Bet, theScore Bet, and more in Tennessee sometime during 2021, if not earlier.
Remember, because this is an online-only state, licenses simply have to be granted by the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation. There are no brick-and-mortar gaming facilities to partner with and that means an unlimited number of licenses are available.
The DFS operator turned sports betting leader is sure to have a strong foothold in Tennessee, a state that signed DFS legislation into law all the way back in April 2016. It was determined that it was not a form of illegal gambling, so DraftKings has had a strong presence in the Volunteer State ever since then. As one of the most prominent sports betting companies in the legal U.S. sports betting landscape, Tennessee will be a lucrative state for DraftKings. Along with a ton of recurring promo offers for new and existing users, we are pleased to offer a sign-up bonus with up to $1,000 in free bets from DraftKings.
Just like DraftKings, FanDuel is already entrenched in the world of sports and of sports gambling in the state of Tennessee from its DFS presence. FanDuel can lay claim to the highest market share in just about every state in which it operates sports betting and the seamless integration of sports betting with the FanDuel app is going to make for a very easy transition for Tennesseans that want to bet on sports.
We’ll update this page as more operators officially get up and running, but you can expect to see BetRivers, PointsBet, William Hill, and probably Fox Bet among the next round of operators to get up and running.
With no retail casinos or gaming facilities anywhere in the state, sports betting in Tennessee can be done from anywhere inside the state borders, ranging from the comforts of home to the stands of a sporting event, to the grocery store bread aisle to the bars down on Broadway.
Because most forms of gambling are not native to Tennessee, there will be a learning curve for a lot of people that want to bet on sports. It makes sense to start easy and to not overextend yourself as you learn the lingo and the lay of the land. A lot of people are probably familiar with point spreads in football and basketball and there will be a lot of interest in Nashville Predators games and the NHL betting markets.
One thing to keep in mind is that there is a stipulation in the legislation for Tennessee that the sportsbooks must hold 10% of the betting handle or face fines and other penalties. Generally speaking, a good hold percentage is 5-6% for the sportsbooks. In Tennessee, operators will pass that burden onto customers, so you are likely to see higher vig on odds and lower odds on futures. Line shopping will be essential.
As mentioned, Tennessee has no retail gaming facilities. The only way to get signed up for the sportsbooks is through their online websites or their mobile apps. If you use an Apple device, you can download the mobile apps right from the Apple Store. If you use an Android device, the Google Play Store prohibits the listing of apps that take bets. You’ll have to download the Android apps straight from the source on the website of the sportsbook you are signing up for, but there will be step-by-step instructions on how to do that.
Remote registration means that you can sign up from anywhere in the state. You don’t even have to be a Tennessee resident to sign up. You just have to be physically located in the state of Tennessee to access your real money account. You will be able to see the odds if you are not in Tennessee, but you will not be able to place any bets unless you are in Tennessee.
All sportsbooks will require basic personal information that allows them to validate your identity and ensure that you are of legal gambling age. That age is 21.
Tennessee is the first online-only state in the country for sports betting. Virginia will become the second in early 2021.
Once you are signed up and have registered and verified your account, the next step is to make a deposit into your sports betting account. Follow the prompts or find the Cashier button on the app or the website to get started.
Most sportsbooks are going to take the same deposit methods, such as PayPal, Visa or Mastercard, bank transfer, bank wire, ACH/e-check, or a Prepaid Plus card, which is a method that a lot of states have employed.
Withdrawals are likely to be done via cashier’s check or bank account transfer. There are no casinos to pick up your money from or deposit money at like there are in other states.
Everywhere. Tennessee has no physical gaming facilities, so every place inside the borders of the state is fair game for placing a wager. Geolocation technology will confirm your location and give you access to your real money account. You’ll have to have Location Services on if you are using a mobile device or your IP address and other information will be plucked from your computer to make sure that you are where you need to be.
Remember, you don’t have to be a resident of Tennessee to sign up for the apps, but you will have to be inside the state borders in order to use the apps to place bets. Virginia will be adding sports betting early in 2021, but Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Missouri all share a border with Tennessee. Most states in the south either do not have sports betting or only have in-person wagering. If you live close enough to Tennessee or wind up traveling there for business or pleasure, you will be able to bet on sports, so long as you sign up and fund an account.
Like we said, one of our chief objectives is to make sure that you are informed about the different sportsbook choices that you have. We strive to provide comprehensive, honest, forthcoming reviews about the different sports betting operators. As affiliate marketers, we are also able to extend special promo codes and bonus offers for those sportsbooks, but that does not cloud our judgment about the ratings that we give to the sportsbooks.
Our staff has decades of experience in the sports betting space and we have made it a point to follow all of the industry happenings since sports betting became legal in the United States in the spring of 2018. Our website features sportsbook reviews and updates on special industry promotions from different operators, but we also have lots of picks, predictions, and other betting content to help you learn the ropes and become a better handicapper.
Tennessee has one of the friendliest sports betting laws, as well as one of the largest online-based sports betting portfolios, in the country. It is also home to some of the most notable major and minor league sports teams in the country. The most popular sports teams to bet on here include:
The Tennessee Titans are popular worldwide for their prowess in the National Football League. The team had taken a back seat for some time, but it now seems to have regained its glory. Most notably, the team won the Wild Card playoffs and Divisional playoffs against the Patriots and Ravens respectively during the 2019 season. Eventually, they would lose in the AFC Championship game to the Chiefs.
The Nashville Predators proudly represent Tennessee in the National Hockey League scene, and are one of the teams to look out for nationally. The Predators have been raising their stock in the competition with their latest advances. Most notably, the team made it to the Stanley Cup finals in 2017, but failed to secure the trophy as the Pittsburg Penguins won the game with a 4-2 final score. The team also finished first place in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 Central divisions. It has also advanced to the playoffs for all of the last five consecutive seasons.
The Grizzlies are the only NBA team in the city of Memphis. Originally established as the Vancouver Grizzlies back in 1995-96, the franchise moved to the city of Memphis after the 2000-01 season. The team has had some fruitful seasons in its history, even making it to the Western Conference finals back in 2012-13 in which they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs. However, over the recent years, the Grizzlies have been going through a rebuild process, failing to make it to the playoffs since the 2016-17 season.
The Tennessee Titans, Memphis Grizzlies and Nashville Predators are the only professional teams in Tennessee, but there are more teams that you can bet on. These include the state’s three impressive college teams:
Granted: the Volunteer State has a clear preference for football and hockey. However, there are more college sports teams in other sports sectors, including basketball and baseball. The state’s regulations on collegiate sports betting are quite relaxed, but there is a strict ban on live or in-play betting as well as player props.
Sports betting in Tennessee has a lot of positives and a lot of negatives. The positive is that it is here and that Tennessee will become a pretty important test case for legal sports betting in the United States. The Volunteer State has no casinos, so there were a lot of legal hurdles and a lot of hold-ups during the legislative process to figure out how sports betting would run, who would be responsible, and how the taxes would work out.
The end result was S 16, the legislation that was passed on the last day of April in 2019 and sent to the desk of Gov. Bill Lee. Lee declined to sign the legislation, but said that he would not stand in the way of what the Tennessee Senate and the Tennessee House of Representatives were able to achieve.
Licensees must pay $750,000 annually in order to operate in the state. Tennessee also has a pretty high tax rate of 20%, but it isn’t nearly as high as some of the other states that have adopted legal sports betting. The operators also must purchase official data from the sports leagues in order to offer in-game betting, which was a trade-off to not having to pay any integrity fees.
One issue for both bettors and sportsbooks is that a 10% hold percentage is mandated by law, otherwise there will be fines and other penalties. That creates a tough environment for both bettors and the operators, as the operators will have to offer unsavory lines compared to other states and bettors will either have to bet with those or not bet in the state of Tennessee. Studies have shown, however, that most gamblers don’t really concern themselves too much with the vig, so we’ll have to wait and see how that affects the handle in the state.
The Tennessee Education Lottery Commission has oversight with regards to sports betting, even though daily fantasy sports fell under the purview of the Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming back in 2016. That was with a 6% tax rate. Sports betting has a 20% tax rate and much stiffer legislation for the operators.
Tennessee has approved wagering on college sports that take place within the borders of the state, which is something that not all states have agreed to, including New Jersey. In essence, there is a lot of give and take for all sides here with sports betting in Tennessee. Remote registration and the ability to bet from anywhere, let alone just having legal sports betting in TN, are perks for the player. The high mandatory hold percentage for the sportsbooks will hurt the player.
Operators will be pleased with the low $750,000 annual cost of a license, but the 20% tax rate is one of the higher ones. Just like most other things in politics, no solution is perfect for all sides, but Tennessee is the first southern state to adopt mobile and online wagering and that should give all neighboring states hope for the future.