Tennessee became the lastest state to go live with online sports betting, when online sportsbooks began taking bets on November 1st, allowing sports bettors to finally get on the action during the NFL season within the state’s borders.
The state legislature had originally passed its online sports betting bill in May 2019, but given the lack of existing casinos in Tennessee, it took much longer than other states to begin taking its bets.
Prior to the opening of online sports betting, Tennessee residents were required to drive to either Arkansas or Mississippi to place legal bets. Sports betting in the state is exclusively available online — no physical locations — and at the time of launch, Tennessee sports bettors can place bets on FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM and Action 247.
Sports bettors must be physically located in the state at the time of wagering, meaning both residents and visitors to the state are eligible, as long as they are physically located in the state when they are placing their bets.
A new cash cow for Tennessee
Online sports betting in Tennessee may be a bit different than it is in other states.
This because Tennessee plans to cap the total amount players can win at 90%, which effectivley means that sportsbooks must generate a hold of 10% or more. Note that this is not on an individual basis but by sportsbook. However, this unfortunately likely means that sports bettors will be given different –– and worse odds — compared to other states on some betting lines to meet the threshold. The market will be regulated by the Tennesee Lottery.
Eighty percent of money raised from online wagering will go primarily to the Tennessee Education Lottery, 15% to local governoments and 5% for gambling problems, including treatment for those that have an addiction. To operate in the market, online sportsbooks were required to pay a $750,000 licensing fee.
An estimated $50 million in tax revenue is expected to come to the Tennesee over the next year.