Tennessee online sports betting is live and regulated by the Sports Wagering Council, which replaced the Tennessee Education Lottery on January 1st, 2022. Under state law, customers 21 or older may bet on professional and college sports at licensed Tennessee sports betting sites and claim welcome bonuses totaling over $7,000. Tennessee holds a unique distinction among states as it possesses legal online betting options but lacks traditional in-person gambling venues such as casinos, race tracks, and poker rooms. Online horse racing betting sites and daily fantasy sports apps are also legal and regulated in Tennessee.

State of Tennessee Sports Betting Overview

While most states with legal online sportsbooks require operators to partner with local land-based casinos and race tracks, Tennessee authorized online sports betting exclusively due to its lack of an established gambling infrastructure. As a result, Tennessee was the first state to adopt an online-only model. As for in-person gambling, Tennessee has a state lottery and limited forms of charitable gaming.

The first Tennessee sports betting apps launched in November 2020, and several other online sportsbooks have opened since.

Currently, every online sportsbook in Tennessee requires new customers to make a real money deposit to claim its welcome bonus. Additionally, most TN betting apps offer new customer bonuses in the form of bonus bets.

A bonus bet invites customers to sign up, make a deposit, and place their first bet. If the wager loses, the sportsbook will refund the user’s loss with an equal amount in bonus bets.

New customer bonuses at Tennessee online sportsbooks can also take other forms: First deposit match bonus is when thesportsbook matches the customer’s first deposit on a percentage basis. DraftKings’ welcome bonus is the most prominent example of a deposit match bonus, offering a 20% match up to $1,000.

The first bet match is when thesportsbook matches the customer’s first bet, not their first deposit. For instance, Caesars Sportsbook offers a $1,001 first bet match. The First bet match bonuses are preferable to bonus bets because sportsbooks pay the former win or lose. By contrast, bonus bets only pay if the customer’s first wager loses.

Tennessee law briefly touches on sports betting bonuses and signup promotions, but it’s enough to ensure operators treat new users fairly.

Under guidelines established by state regulators, licensed sportsbooks must submit all promotional materials and bonuses to the Tennessee Sports Wagering Council for approval before extending offers to new customers.

As a result, Tennessee sportsbooks are unlikely to offer predatory or unfair welcome bonuses to new customers. Furthermore, the single best thing bettors can do to ensure they receive fair bonuses is to stick exclusively with licensed betting apps and websites.

Tennessee legalized sports betting with the passage of HB 0001 in May 2019, and the first online sportsbooks opened in November 2020.

The law gave the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation (TEL) responsibility for regulating sports betting and issuing licenses to operators. Under the law, operators could apply for sports betting licenses from TEL to accept wagers from customers located in Tennessee.

In 2021, Tennessee legislators voted to install the Tennessee Sports Wagering Advisory Council (SWAC) as the state’s new sports regulating body. The shift may have stemmed from the scandal involving Action 24/7, where in January 2021, Action’s license was suspended (and later restored) due to numerous credit card fraud allegations.

SWAC officially took over on January 1st, 2022, and is now in charge of reviewing sports betting license applications and providing regulatory oversight.

Additional legislation (SB 0475) approved in 2023 changed the name of the Sports Wagering Advisory Council to the “Sports Wagering Council,” removed a controversial mandatory minimum 10% hold rule, changed the tax rate from a flat 20% tax on revenue to 1.85% on each operator’s handle (the total sum of wagers taken), and removed a provision requiring operators to rely on official league data to settle in-play wagers.

Bettors must be 21 or older and located within state lines to bet online. Customers may register and deposit from anywhere in Tennessee. Licensed operators may accept wagers online and through mobile betting apps. Licensed online sportsbooks in Tennessee may accept wagers on professional sports, college sports, and esports but may not take in-game or prop bets on college games. Operators pay a 1.85% tax on the sum of all wagers taken.

State of Tennessee Sports Betting Timeline

Jan. 17, 2024 — Tennessee sports betting handle fell to $495 million in December, a 4% decrease month-over-month but still the second-highest total ever for the state.

Dec. 14, 2023 — Tennessee sports betting handle rose to $517 million in November, a new record high for the state and a 16% increase from October.

Nov. 17, 2023 — Tennessee sports betting handle hit $445.1 million in October, a new record high for the state, and a 6% increase from September.

Nov. 15, 2023 — Underdog Fantasy is releasing peer-to-peer pick ’em games in Tennessee and three other states while some states continue to outlaw player vs house pick ’em games.

Nov. 14, 2023 — ESPN Bet is now live in Tennessee. The sportsbook replaced Barstool in 17 states.