Tennessee put legalized sports betting into law in May 2019, and after more than a year of waiting, it finally went into action. Officials said Nov. 1 would the latest date that sports bettors will have to wait to be able to place a wager in Tennessee and they were correct.
Editor Note: The state announced in late September the first three successful bidders for Tennessee sports betting licenses, with BetMGM, FanDuel and DraftKings earning early approvals.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Tennessee has yet to take a bet on any games, but the stipulations behind their betting are a bit extreme.
The state is charging an annual licensing fee of $750,000, along with a 20 percent tax rate. Those numbers are much higher than the state’s original plan of $75,000 annually with a 10 percent tax rate, much higher than most other states that have implemented legalized gambling.
Tennessee also restricts prop bets on all NCAA football and basketball games, gives leagues and colleges the power to restrict bet types, forces sportsbooks to purchase official league data and requires sportsbooks to take a 10% hold on all wagers.
Once it goes into action, Tennessee might be the country’s most operator-unfriendly state. It will be interesting to see how it plays out when sports – and gambling – resumes.
Is sports betting legal in Tennessee?
Yes. The Tennessee Sports Gaming Act was created in 2019 but is still not active yet in terms of active betting. But as above, November 2020 is the deadline. Tennessee became the fourth state in 2019 that legalized sports betting.
Where can I bet at Tennessee sportsbooks?
The Tennessee Sports Gaming Act does not actually permit in-person retail sportsbooks, rather opting to have all wagers be available statewide in an online capacity.
There will be plenty of interest because there is no limit on how many operators can apply. As of September 29, 2020, DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM had won approval.
DFS play is valid in the state, with all the major operators available.
What about mobile sports betting apps in Tennessee?
Sports betting in Tennessee will, at the start, be strictly in a mobile capacity. Whatever operators sign on in Tennessee will book wagers through their own native apps.