Sports betting was legalized in the state of Tennessee in the spring of 2019. This makes it one of the many states that now has legal options for sportsbooks betting for fans from all leagues and sports events. Of course, it’s going to take some time to get everything in order and running smoothly. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know.
As of April 30, 2019, the Tennessee legislature approved a bill that set forth provisions for betting on mobile apps and via online sportsbooks. As of now, it appears the law does not set provisions for physical sportsbook locations and betting options. The law calls for a license fee and sets tax rates.
Within the law, there is also a restriction requiring operators of sportsbooks to use “official data sources” for settling all bets that are in-play. It also requires a license to be procured for in-game betting. This essentially allows statistics to become monetized, which gives a lot more control over what can and can’t be offered in the state to the leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB).
Why Online-Only Sportsbooks?
Some people see an online-only approval as the easier method when introducing a bill like this. After all, if a state doesn’t have to set up provisions and guidelines for establishing physical sportsbooks and betting locations, it’s easier for them. In the case of the state of Tennessee, however, the online option was a compromise between the state legislature and Governor Bill Lee, who has a philosophical opposition to gambling.
When Can Players Expect Live Bets?
Although the law has been approved within the state, there is a lot of work involved in getting the state ready for a full launch on legal sports betting. Experts are predicting that while some elements may come through before the end of the year, it will likely be early 2020 before Tennessee residents can really capitalize on legalized online sports betting.
On sites that are already set up to offer sportsbooks betting for U.S. residents, players from Tennessee may be able to get in on the game right away. The best thing to do is head to a few different U.S.-based online sportsbooks and see if they have an option for players from the state to register. Legal online sites will only allow users to sign up if they are in a state where sports betting is legal.
Keep in mind that although the bill went into effect as of July 1, there are no regulations in place yet regarding sports betting. There is an advisory council that will be put in charge of setting up the administration and regulation of sports gambling in Tennessee. Once that council has been set up, they will get to work outlining the legalities and rules of using sportsbooks.
As with most states, sports betting is limited to Tennessee residents that are over the age of 21. And like many states that have also recently approved bills, Tennessee does have a ways to go before players can hop online and hit it big by betting on their favorite sports teams. For now, though, the legalization is a good launching point.