Sports Betting Q&A
Frequently asked questions about sports betting

Is sports betting legal in Tennessee?

Last Updated: Jan 13, 2021
Fact Checked By: Adam Zdroik

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

Legalized sports betting seemed like a long shot until late 2018 and that eventually led to the governor allowing the current bill to pass in 2019. Since it has no casinos, Tennessee is the only state that has online-only sports betting.

Lottery officials approved final rules, regulations and processes in April 2020 and there was a glaring number that stood out. Tennessee is capping payouts at 90% with a 10% minimum hold rule, which is higher than the national average of 6.8% following the repeal of PASPA. This hold worsens odds for bettors, which could in turn hurt the state's chances of succeeding with legalizing sports betting. If things don't go to plan, the state can go over the rules and regulations in a year and adjust as needed.

As of April, the state lottery still has to grant licenses for companies (DraftKings, FanDuel, etc.) to run online sportsbooks in the state.

Because Tennessee is set to be the first with online-only sports betting, it can't base its system off a different state's framework, which is partly why this has become a process.

Daily Fantasy Sports were legalized after passing a bill in 2016, and it includes some of the usual regulations for fantasy sports like deposit limits, identity verification and annual audits. 

Tennessee also has a bill for office pools, which states the max entry can't be greater than $25 and total prize pools are no greater than $1,000. The state allows horse racing betting, though that can only be done online.

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