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Tennessee Sports Betting Online

It took more than one year after online sports betting was legalized to finally launch in Tennessee, but as of November 1, 2020, mobile sportsbooks officially went live. Tennessee approached the world of online sports betting uniquely. They became the first state to introduce an online-only sports betting market, with legal sportsbooks not being required to partner with existing brick and mortar casinos. Residents will take what they can get in this state, as there are no brick and mortar casinos in the state. Tennessee is the only Southern state to allow online sports betting thus far and one of the only Southern states with active legal sportsbooks in general. Virginia is expected to join their ranks in early 2021.

We have built a comprehensive guide to introduce you to the sports betting market in the great state of Tennessee.

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Sportsbooks in Tennessee

Action247 N/A
BetAmerica (TwinSpires) N/A
William Hill N/A
WynnBet N/A
Pending Approval N/A
ZenSports N/A

Here’s a more thorough breakdown of the various sportsbooks operating in Tennessee:

Action 24/7: A Nashville-based company led by Tina Hodges, who also owns Advance Financial, an online lending company that operates in 15 states. Action 24/7 is backed by more than 50 investors from throughout the state. Action 24/7 offers a variety of Tennessee-specific parlays.

BetAmerica (TwinSpires): A Churchill Downs-owned company, BetAmerica/TwinSpires was the fifth sportsbook approved by the state after the initial four launched. The company offers bets on all major sports and specializes in horse racing, a once-rich past time of the state.

BetMGM: The Tennessee Titans’ Official partners, BetMGM, bring its strong brand name tied to its casino properties throughout the country to Tennessee. While casino-style gambling will have to wait in Tennessee, bettors can take advantage of MGM’s solid online platform and deposit bonuses for sports betting.

DraftKings: One of the biggest players in DFS and sports betting, DraftKings was amongst the first books to be legalized in Tennessee. They offer the same solid player props via their attractive app and are amongst the first in the industry to offer college football lines for the following week’s games.

FanDuel: FanDuel Sportsbook is the official partner of the Memphis Grizzlies. This deal is the Grizzlies’ first partnership with a sports betting operator and FanDuel’s first such partnership with an NBA team.

William Hill: William Hill is the third-largest online sports wagering company behind FanDuel and DraftKings in the U.S. They are joining in the action amongst Tennessee’s online-only offerings at the same time as WynnBet. We could see them grow even larger in the future once Caesars completes the acquisition process.

WynnBet: Still growing amongst the behemoths of the industry, WynnBet securing an early position in the online-only market of Tennessee is a great way for them to grow their following. WynnBet also has great timing joining the market in Tennessee considering they are an official partner of NASCAR, and the Cup Series is scheduled to take place at the Nashville Superspeedway for the first time in 37 years.

Coming Soon: ZenSports is officially pending review, while PointsBet and BetRivers are rumored to be coming soon as well.

Tennessee Sports Betting History

Given the conservative nature of the state of Tennessee, there is not a rich legal betting history to explore here. The state’s recorded gambling history began circa 1804 when the state’s first horse racing venue opened. Horse racing proved to be very popular, with 10 tracks opening up by the late 1830s. In 1906, the State General Assembly passed an anti-gambling law, destroying the betting market. Things remained quiet on the legal betting front, and the Government cracked down hard, closing hundreds of illegal bingo halls in the late 1980s. It wasn’t until 2002 that voters approved a state lottery, which passed by vote in a landslide. In 2015, the Tennessee Lottery reported $1.48 billion in ticket sales, a new state record. Fantasy sports became legal in the state in 2016.

Governor, Bill Lee, is vehemently opposed to gambling with a strong disdain towards brick and mortar casinos. Though online sports betting was passed in the state, it was passed without his signature. The future of in-person betting is bleak in Tennessee, with the Governor mentioning, “I remain philosophically opposed to gambling and will not be lending my signature to support this cause. We see this issue differently, but let me be clear: any future efforts to expand gambling or introduce casinos to Tennessee will assure my veto.”

Tennessee launched with just four initial sportsbooks, including BetMGM, FanDuel, DraftKings, and local-based Action 24/7. Churchill Downs-owned sportsbook BetAmerica (soon to be TwinSpires) was approved in early 2021, and additional sportsbooks are pending approval from The Tennessee Education Lottery. The approval system is somewhat different in Tennessee than other states that generally have a Gaming Board or Commission that oversees the betting regulations.

In December of 2020, Tennessee’s initial four mobile sportsbooks took $180.9 million in bets, up 37.7% over its first month in November. Sports betting paid out $13.9 million in December, up 5.3% from $13.2 million the prior month. The state collected $3.1 million in tax revenue.

Tennessee Sports Betting at a Glance

Here’s what you need to know about Tennessee’s current sports betting landscape:

  • You must be 21-years-old and within the legal boundaries of the state to place a bet.
  • Tennessee sports betting entities must hold at least 10% of all betting handle they take. If they don’t hit that mark at the end of each calendar year, they face fines of up to $25,000.
  • The minimum hold is calculated on revenues minus aggregate annual payout to bettors. Bonuses are not considered when determining adjusted gross income.
  • Sports betting operators will have to pay $750k each year for a license and face a relatively high 20% state tax rate.
  • Over $27 million in wagers were placed during the first week of online sports betting in Tennessee.
  • Tennessee sports betting broke and set a national record for the largest first month’s handle reported by any state. Handle in the first month of legal Tennessee online sports betting recorded $131.4 million. Sports betting revenue was $13.2 million, good for a 10% hold. This created $2.4 million in taxes to the state.
  • Tennessee’s betting reports only present data for the handle, payouts, and taxes, making it impossible to know how each sportsbook is faring compared to the others.
  • In-play betting will be available on a limited basis in Tennessee.
  • There are no prop bets on individual performances by college athletes.
  • You can bet on US horse races legally in Tennessee, using the same pari-mutuel pools at on- and off-track facilities in other states.
  • Casino gambling is not legal in Tennessee in any form, so residents must cross state lines to play slots, blackjack, or other table games for real money.

Tennessee Sports Betting FAQs

What kinds of sports wagers can I make at Tennessee casinos?
Tennessee sportsbooks will offer a wide range of bet types, including (but not limited to):

  • Moneylines
  • Parlays
  • Props
  • Futures
  • Spreads
  • Totals

What sports can I wager on at Tennessee sportsbooks?

  • All major sports offered via the legal sportsbooks apps are offered in Tennessee.

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