Tennessee is an interesting state. Home to amazing progressive cities like Nashville and Memphis, the state has also been steeped in some old-fashioned traditions which don’t exactly translate well to modern times. Where does gambling fit into the equation in the state? This page will give you all the information you need to know about the state of gambling laws in Tennessee and what if anything could change in the future.
Sports Betting in Tennessee
While Tennesse had been of the more conservative states when it came to gambling, the repeal of PASPA in 2018 seemed to have changed many opinions in government. While nothing happened in the rest of the 2018 legislative session in the state, in 2019 there was a move to introduce sports betting regulations, and a law was miraculously passed in the spring.
Since that time, however, Tennesse residents have been waiting patiently to find out when they can bet on their beloved teams. The move from passing a law to issuing regulations and awarding licenses has been a slow, painstaking process and as of December 2019 there still are no legal sportsbooks in the Volunteer State. All signs point to permits being approved early in 2020, following which there will be a mad frenzy to bring sports betting live in the state.
Online Sports Betting
Since states have been able to pass laws regulating sports betting in 2018, the same storyline has emerged in many pieces of legislation – the initial licenses were given to land-based facilities, and the regulations mandated that all activity be retail-based for an initial period.
Tennesse, however, has been the most progressive when it comes to their legislation, making sports betting legal only via online and mobile channels. Not requiring a land-based sportsbook will save many of the operators significant upfront and operating costs and will create a virtual competitive environment. That’s excellent news for sports bettors in Tennessee as this will mean better prices and more attractive promotions to take advantage of when looking for a place to bet.
Horse Betting in Tennessee
Here’s a strange situation in Tennessee. There is one set of horse races that take place in the state each year, and while thousands of people attend the day of racing, they are prohibited from betting the results. Actually, there is no pari-mutuel betting of any kind in facilities in Tennessee. Given the location of the state and the weather they have, it is too bad because they could have a thriving industry if they wanted. While the government has looked at the idea of expanding into horse racing, given the steady decline of the business across the country, it may not end up being something they want to invest in that this time, especially with government funds.
Online Horse Betting
There is a glimmer of hope for residents of Tennessee that want to bet on horses and dogs – online betting. There are sites, like DRF Bets and Xpressbet, that operate from outside the state but are still allowed for now to take action from those in the Volunteer state. We aren’t sure if the government will step in and try to add their regulations to these sites, but for the time being, you can find these companies online and make your accounts with very little trouble at all.
Casino Gambling in Tennessee
Sticking with the trend of being conservative, there are no land-based casinos in Tennessee. While many other states would have farmed out the operation of casinos to a tribal community to reap the benefits without taking on the risk, this has not happened in Tennessee, and there are no signs of this law changing anytime soon.
Online Casinos in Tennessee
Despite the turnaround by the Tennessee government on their stance against sports betting in the state, there has been no talk about expanding their gaming Act to include online casino games. This may come as a disappointment to those who love the idea of playing blackjack or roulette from their computers and mobile devices, but given the ultra-conservative stance regarding land-based casinos, we don’t think there will be any movement on this front anytime soon.
Tennessee residents are not prohibited from playing casino games at a site that is hosted offshore, but we do not recommend that option. Offshore locations are beyond the reach of the law in the United States, and while they have been around for more than two decades, they still come with a certain level of risk, which many are not willing to take.
Lottery in Tennessee
The lottery in Tennessee seems to be the one area in gambling where there is no debate. The state did take its time bringing in the lottery – it wasn’t established until the early 2000s. However, since then players from across the state have been able to try to win huge jackpots in games like Mega Millions, or get a quick gambling fix from the instant scratch tickets you can find in hundreds of retail outlets.
Tennessee Gambling FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Tennessee?
Well, this is a two-part answer. Yes, sports betting is legal in Tennessee, with legislation passing in April of 2019. However, if you are looking to make a wager in the state, you still have to wait as no licenses have yet to be awarded.
When will sports betting be legal in Tennessee?
Here’s the good news for residents of the state that are keen to make bets on their favorite teams – it should not be much more of a wait. It looks like by early 2020 licenses will be awarded, and since the betting will all be online-based, there won’t be any delay to build retail facilities. Expect to be placing your bets in the first quarter of 2020.
What is the best online sportsbook for residents of Tennessee?
Everyone is looking for something personal when they choose an online sportsbook. For the ones that will be offered in Tennessee, our experts will provide full reviews, so you have an idea of what companies fit your gambling profile the best.