How We Selected Best TN Sportsbooks
Tennessee is home to most of the nation’s top brands, so we had to put in the extra work to figure out which ones are the best. This required hours of research and comparisons of their respective bonus offers, odds, betting programs, and other key aspects. We will elaborate on our selection process in the following sections.
Regulation and Licensing
The safety of our readers at Gamble USA takes precedence over everything else. For that reason, we didn’t consider offshore sportsbooks. Our picks only include sites that have met the regulatory standards set by the Sports Wagering Advisory Council. These brands must abide by strict rules of conduct and state laws to be allowed to run their business in Tennessee.
On the other hand, offshore sites operate outside of these licensing regimes and are considered illegal by the state authorities. Betting on these platforms is risky because players are left without legal recourse if things go south. Furthermore, offshore firms are susceptible to going out of business, as has happened before. There’s no telling what would happen to your bankroll in such cases — it would likely get stuck in limbo.
Deep market selection is what separates the Mount Rushmore books from their competition. Not only do top-rated brands on our list offer extensive coverage of all major sports, but they also have odds on smaller markets like golf, tennis, NASCAR, and soccer.
Bonus Offers and Odds Boosts
Many Tennessee bettors are attracted to sportsbooks because of their bonuses and promotions. This makes sense, considering that these offers can boost your bankroll and increase your chances of success. Again, not all sites are equal in this regard. Some provide more lucrative bonuses than others and give out odds boosts more frequently. Several operators ramped it up a notch by starting loyalty programs as well.
As we evaluate a sportsbook’s promo lineup, we also consider the associated requirements. This is because you’ll hardly be able to win anything if the terms are unfriendly.
Quality of Odds
Being able to identify value is essential if you want to succeed in sports betting. Sharp bettors constantly shop around for the best lines and odds as it helps them find a positive EV in their wagers. You don’t have to go through this lengthy process on your own because we have already found the sportsbook with the most competitive odds.
Mobile Betting and Apps
The mobile app functionality is a major consideration when choosing the best sportsbook, especially for in-play betting. The app must be well-optimized to handle peak times during major events. The iOS and Android apps should also have all the features that are available on the website. Having standalone functions would be an added benefit.
Banking is one of the aspects that can make or break an online sportsbook. Having a wide range of payment options is the precondition for a seamless betting experience. In addition to banking method availability, we also look at processing times and fees. You should be able to cash out your winnings quickly and not be ripped off on every transaction.
Choosing a sportsbook that has a reliable customer support team is essential. Occasionally, there may be problems with the platform, so having a knowledgeable support team comes in handy in these situations. It should be possible to reach the service 24 hours a day through multiple channels such as live chat, email, and preferably telephone.
Brief History of Gambling in Tennessee
Tennessee is a conservative state with little gambling culture. It’s one of the few states without brick-and-mortar gambling venues. The only forms of legal betting include lottery, DFS, and limited charitable gambling.
Tennessee residents who enjoy playing live poker, roulette, and off-track betting would have to travel to neighboring Mississippi to satisfy their gambling appetite.
The Volunteer State wasn’t always devoid of gambling. In the early 1800s, Nashville and other major cities had a number of saloons and gambling establishments. In particular, horse racing had a strong following in Tennessee, which was considered the nation’s capital for thoroughbred racing.
As the 19th century drew to a close, anti-gambling sentiment picked up in the state. Consequently, Tennessee General Assembly outlawed gambling in 1906. The activity remained illegal until 1972, when the state legalized charitable bingo in response to requests from fundraising organizations. At about the same time, the pinball gambling industry arrived in Tennessee, but it was short-lived. Likewise, bingo was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1989.
In 2003, TN voters overwhelmingly approved a measure to lift a ban on lotteries in a referendum. After a year, the lottery opened for business, and the proceeds from the games are now donated to educational projects in the state.
Charity bingo re-appeared in 2010, but any profits that were generated were used to benefit good causes only.
In a surprising turn of events, the lawmakers approved a daily fantasy sports bill in 2016, legalizing cash-based DFS contests.
Rep. Larry Miller introduced a casino bill to the committee a year later, but it was rejected.
<h3> Sports Betting in Tennessee: Timeline </h3>
Given the lack of a retail gambling market, it was pretty shocking when the state legislature approved a sports betting bill. Developing the digital-only sports betting infrastructure took over a year because regulators couldn’t use other states’ models as blueprints. Here’s how it all played out:
- November 2018: HB1, a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Rep. Rick Staples and Sen. Steve Dickerson was introduced to the legislative bodies.
- April 2019: The bill was approved by House in a 58–37 vote. Six days later, it passed the Senate. The bill was amended several times as it moved through the legislature.
- May 2019: Gov. Bill Lee returned the bill to the General Assembly, thereby allowing it to become law without his signature. Regulatory oversight of sports betting was assigned to the 9-member board of the Tennessee Lottery Commission.
- January 2020: The 45-day public hearing regarding proposed regulations was completed. Within a month, the board had to address the 300 or so comments and come up with a revised draft.
- April 2020: The draft was finalized — operators were required to hold at least 10% of their total bet handle. They would face a fine of $25,000 if they didn’t meet the benchmark. TEL started receiving application requests.
November 1, 2020: Sports betting officially kicked off in Tennessee with four operators — FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and Action 24/7.
Sports Betting in Tennessee: License and Tax Information
Tennessee’s sports betting apparatus is one of a kind. Not only because it allows online sportsbooks to run without unaffiliated retail casinos but also because of its notorious 10% hold requirement. Tennessee is the only state in the country that caps how much sportsbooks can pay out on an annual basis.
A mandate like this creates an unfriendly environment for bettors, as they are required to pay a much higher juice on their wagers than their peers from other states. For perspective, the average hold at Nevada’s books is around 5%, so operators can offer better prices there.
Fortunately, the hold mandate has not been implemented within an actual statute but rather in the TEL’s rules. The agency may revise the requirement based on how it impacts the market.
The state collects 20% of operator gross gaming revenue in taxes. This tax rate is the third-highest in the country, trailing only Pennsylvania (36%) and New York (51%).
Both the application and annual renewal licensing fees are set at $750,000.
Here’s how the sports betting revenue is allocated:
- 80% goes into the Education Account managed by the Lottery
- 15% goes to local government for infrastructure projects
- 5% is deposited to the problem gambling division within mental health and substance abuse institutions
The rules also stipulate the use of the official date for in-play betting. Therefore, TN sportsbooks need to purchase data directly from leagues in order to offer live wagering.
How to Get Started in a Tennessee Online Sportsbook
Choosing the right sportsbook is the tricky part. Once that’s done, everything else will be a snap. You’ll be ready to go within minutes of loading the betting site. Stay tuned for detailed instructions:
- Visit the sportsbook or download the app. Once you’ve found your match, click on the corresponding link to get navigated to the sportsbook’s website. If you’re accessing the site via a mobile, make sure to download the standalone app. The links are usually available in the footer section.
- Sign up. Click on the Registration button (it’s usually in the upper right corner of the interface). Subsequently, enter the required personal information. This typically includes your full name, username + password, address, and final four digits of your Social Security number. You may be asked to type the welcome bonus code in one of the boxes.
- Top up your account. Upon completing the registration process, proceed to the cashier to make a deposit. Several payment options will be available depending on the sportsbook. Your transaction will be processed instantly.
Get in on the action. Once you have loaded your account, you will be ready to place bets. The betting lobby is easily accessible via the home page. Just select the market you want to bet on and input the desired stake. Make sure to double-check everything before submitting your wager.
Eligibility and Geolocation
The sports betting market in Tennessee may be quirky in many ways, but when it comes to geolocation requirements, it fits the mold. In TN, as elsewhere, sportsbooks require that you physically be in the state for your wager to be valid. They’ll use geolocation technology to verify your location.
The legal betting age is set at 21. You don’t have to be a Tennessee resident to bet with local books — you just have to be located within the state lines when placing the wager.
Tennessee Sports Betting Partnerships With Professional Teams
Tennessee plays host to three professional sports teams. These include the Nashville Predators (NHL), Memphis Grizzlies (NBA), and Tennessee Titans (NFL). All of these franchises have already partnered up with local sportsbooks. Let’s check out the deals:
- FanDuel and the Grizzlies: In November 2020, FanDuel became the official betting partner of the Memphis Grizzlies. This was the first such deal for both entities. As per the terms, FanDuel was allowed to use the Grizlies’ logos across its DFS and online sportsbook platforms.
- BetMGM and the Titans: The gambling powerhouse teamed up with the Titans in September 2020. As the official betting partner, BetMGM got brand visibility across the team’s media assets and pivotal in-game moments, like video board replays and field goal attempts.
- DraftKings with the Predators: DraftKings aligned with the esteemed NHL franchise back in 2020. Among other things, the multi-year partnership included in-stadium sponsorship privileges at Bridgestone Arena. Signage for DraftKings was to be displayed via dasher boards and the arena’s LED screen.
WynnBet with the Memphis Grizzlies: WynnBet became the Grizzlies’ second sports betting partner in May 2021, prior to the sportsbook launching in Tennessee. The deal gave the betting operator rights to use the Grizzlies’ digital channels and access to the FedExForum. Furthermore, the team would include betting features within its official app, including the Pick’em Up feature.
What Types of Bets Can I Make in Tennessee?
Tennessee sportsbooks have wall-to-wall betting markets, ranging from straight wagers to combo, in-play, and exotic bets. No matter where you settle, you are sure to have plenty of options.
Here’s a snapshot of the major types of bets you’ll encounter on TN betting sites:
- Moneyline: When you bet the MN, you’re simply choosing the team to win the game outright. If the side has negative odds next to it, it’s considered a favorite. The number is akin to the amount of money you have to stake to win $100. For example, you’d have to wager $150 on -150 to win $100. Conversely, underdogs are represented with positive odds; the value shows how much profit you’d make for a $100 winning wager on that side.
- Point spread: The spread is analogous to the margin of victory. If the team is favored, it needs to win by more points than the set number. The reverse principle applies for the underdogs; they have to lose by fewer points than the spread number or win the game outright.
- Totals: If you have a good idea of how the game will unfold in terms of scoring volume, then you should most definitely consider these wagers. Totals are odds on the combined score of both sides. In this case, if you’ve bet on the ‘under’ and both teams’ final score is 50 or less when added up, you’ll win. Those who chose the ‘over’ side of the total will win if the total result exceeds 50.
- Prop bets: Prop, or proposition bets, are the most versatile type of wagers you’ll find on TN sportsbooks. Some of the most popular variations are stats-based props, where you bet on the performance of specific teams or players. For instance, you can bet on whether Ja Morant will score a triple-double in a given NBA matchup.
- Futures: Futures are an exciting and potentially lucrative alternative to betting on single games. Most commonly, they include betting on a team to win the division/conference, make it to the playoffs, or win the whole thing. They can also tackle individual player awards, such as the MVP, defensive player of the year, most improved player of the year, and more.
- Multiple bets: Parlays, round robins and, teasers combine multiple single bets together, creating a pool of wagers with a potentially massive payout. Each individual wager (leg) must hit in order for your multiple bet to be successful. This makes them high-risk, high-reward wagers.
Live bets: Live bets are exactly what you would expect them to be — wagers made on events that are currently being played. The odds are updated in real-time after each play and will fluctuate throughout the game as it unfolds. In live betting, the constant changes in odds/lines make speed a critical element — so, when you see an opportunity, seize it immediately.
Are Any Bets Off-Limits?
As opposed to some states, Tennessee allows sportsbooks to take bets on collegiate events, albeit with limitations. Namely, the law forbids prop bets on college athletes. Otherwise, all wagers are permitted.
In terms of contests, the only market that’s off-limits is politics. Esports betting, on the other hand, is legal.
Responsible Gambling in Tennessee
All TN sportsbooks are fully dedicated to providing a responsible gambling environment for all of their players. Numerous tools and resources have been put into place to strengthen this commitment. Users can set limits on deposits, wagers, and time, opt for time restrictions, and use the cool-off feature. They can also join a self-exclusion program and ban themselves from the site indefinitely or, at the very least, for a long term.
TENNESSEE SPORTS BETTING
Is sports betting legal in Tennessee?
Yes, sports betting has been legal in Tennessee since May 2019. The official kickoff date was November 1, 2020.
Who regulates sports betting in Tennessee?
Regulatory duties for sports betting in Tennessee are handled by a 9-member Sports Wagering Advisory Council as of January 2021.
What is the minimum age for joining a Tennessee sports betting website?
To register with a TN-licensed sportsbook and place real money bets, you have to be 21 years or older.
Are Tennessee betting sites safe?
Yes, Tennessee spots betting operators use Fort Knox-like security measures to protect their servers from hacker attacks. These include cutting-edge encryption and firewalls.
Do I have to be a resident of Tennessee to place bets on TN sportsbooks?
No, you can also bet with Tennessee sportsbooks as a tourist. It’s only mandatory that you be located inside the state while betting with TN books; you can register from anywhere within the country.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do Tennessee betting sites feature bonuses and promotions?
Yes, there are lots of promotions and bonuses up for grabs in our top-rated TN books. These include a sizable welcome bonus, lots of daily boosts, and various other rotating promotions.
Do I need to download an app to play on Tennessee sportsbooks?
No, but it’s recommended, especially for in-play bettors. Alternatively, you can access the mobile version of the site without having to download any app or software.
Are offshore sportsbooks available in Tennessee?
Yes, there are loads of offshore books offering their services to TN residents, but they are considered illegal by state law.
Does Tennessee have retail sportsbooks?
No, Tennessee doesn’t have in-person sportsbooks, and it plans to keep it that way. The land-based betting industry is not slated to be launched anytime soon.
How quickly can I withdraw my winnings from Tennessee sports betting sites?
If you use e-wallets, you’ll be able to cash out your winnings within 3 days tops. Other payment methods are slower, especially checks.