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Legal Gambling in Tennessee

Like in many US States, gambling laws in Tennessee are also changing. Though many forms of betting in TN might be illegal, the state has introduced new legislation that will permit sports betting. With these changes, the citizens of the Volunteer State will soon be able to place bets across a wide variety of sports.

Like in many US States, gambling laws in Tennessee are also changing. Though many forms of betting in TN might be illegal, the state has introduced new legislation that will permit sports betting. With these changes, the citizens of the Volunteer State will soon be able to place bets across a wide variety of sports.

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Online Sports Betting in Tennessee

The new Tennessee sports betting legislation is in its final stages before it fully becomes law. In April of 2019, the bill HB 1 passed the Senate with a vote of 19-12, following its predecessor SB 16 passing the House by 58-37. The state’s Governor Bill Lee decided not to veto the bill but instead let it sit with him until it passed into law.

By doing so, sports betting will be one of the first major forms of legal gambling in TN. These new laws should come into effect by July 1st, although it is hard to predict the exact timing. Distribution of licenses and regulations will fall under the authority of the Tennessee Lottery Corporation.

One of the most fascinating clauses with these new sports betting laws is that it will be the first state to only offer sports betting online. There will be no opportunities to enter a wager from a traditional brick-and-mortar casino. Gamblers will therefore have to go online using either a website or an app to place their bets.

Should there be any new information regarding the legalization of sports gambling in Tennessee, you’ll find updates here.

What Does the Future of Online Casinos in Tennessee Look Like?

Like many other states in the USA, online casino gambling in the Volunteer State is somewhat  a gray area. There are no laws explicitly banning players heading online to unregulated sites that accept American players, but there are also no laws legalizing the practice, with the state having a long history of opposing casinos. The United States Senator for TN, Bill Frist, was a key figure in implementing the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

Tennessee is also a state with no tribal casinos. Though laws have been relaxed to allow Native American tribes to run their casinos under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, none have opted to do so.

Many players instead choose to turn to unregulated online casinos. Until the laws change and legal gambling in the Volunteer State at online casinos is permitted, players should not head to these service providers, even if they claim to welcome American players. Such casinos are not recognized by any Tennessee commission, so they cannot be legal. There is a chance that they may try to withhold payments, or even sell your sensitive data online.

The last attempt at legalizing online casino gambling came in 2013 and there has been little interest since then. Though Governor Lee was content to let the sports betting bill pass him by, he has stated that he would veto any similar bill hoping to legalize casinos or poker. Should the House introduce a new bill, you can track its progress on this page.

Online Poker in Tennessee

Much like casinos, there is a bit of a gray area when it comes to online poker. Tennessee does not explicitly ban games, but they are not legalized or regulated at a state level. There are sites online that claim to welcome players from Tennessee, however like online casino providers, there is no guarantee that these sites are safe to play at.

Since there are no casinos in TN, there are also no brick-and-mortar poker rooms to head to. Currently, there are no options for legal gambling in Tennessee when it comes to online poker. This stance is also unlikely to change anytime soon with the current Governor having a strong anti-gambling stance, meaning players might not see any steps towards legalization on the horizon. If players do wish to indulge in poker, they may have to cross state borders to a destination that allows these games.

Top Daily Fantasy Sports Sites in Tennessee

Tennessee’s Fantasy Sports Act of 2016 made it legal for fantasy sports operators to offer their services in the Volunteer State.

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Tennessee’s Favorite Daily Fantasy Sports Sites

Fantasy sports could be a great way for any sports fan to place a few bets before sportsbooks launch their services. This is a great option for gambling in Tennessee as all the biggest fantasy sports operators currently offer products here. FanDuel, DraftKings, and Fantasy Draft all operate in the state.

These sites will be great destinations once sports betting becomes a form of legal gambling in The Volunteer State, as many of them are also offer sportsbooks. Such companies will already have loyal fanbases, so they will be in a brilliant position to offer new products once the legalization of these services comes into effect.

Online Lottery in Tennessee

Tennessee’s online lottery was created in 2003 and is run by the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation. In addition to small games like Keno and Quick Cash, they offer multi-jurisdictional games like Mega Millions and Lotto America. Instead of drawing balls to determine winners, they instead use a random number generator for their in-state games. Some of the multi-jurisdictional games that are also available in other states still use the draw balls system. Draws happen daily for the small in-state games with the larger games having other schedules. Jackpots range from a few dollars up into millions depending on the game chosen.

Tickets can be bought from many brick-and-mortar locations around the state, while there is also a lottery app for people to play on the go. Players can join the free VIP program to accumulate rewards points that can earn them additional prizes and Second Chance draws. You must be 18+ to participate in the Tennessee Lottery.

Other Important Gambling Facts About Tennessee

Introducing sports gambling in the Volunteer State is going to have many positive fiscal benefits for it. Part of the HB 1 bill dictates that license fees for sportsbooks will stand at $750,000 per year. The tax rate will also be 20%; much higher than the 10% originally proposed. In total, the state could generate up to $50 million a year in sports betting revenue.

These taxes will go to local government programs, gambling addiction treatment programs, and education, just like the state lottery. Currently, the Tennessee Lottery has funded over $5.25 billion for education across the state. This ranges from scholarships and grants to after-school programs and energy-efficient initiatives for schools.

Unlike other states that limit sports betting to professional levels, you will be able to bet on some collegiate sports, although in-play wagers will not be allowed during these events. Sports teams in Division I of the NCAA will be included in sportsbooks listings, along with pro leagues and minor leagues.

Sportsbooks will also have to pay a fee to use the official data from the sports leagues when settling in-play bets. If there is no official league data feed for live betting available, they will be able to use a third-party solution.

What Does the Future Hold for Online Gambling in Tennessee?

Though the legalization of online casino and poker games remains uncertain, the legalization of sportsbooks is fantastic news for anyone searching for a way to enjoy legal gambling in Tennessee. Though it may be some time before we see new initiatives and bills launched to legalize all forms of gambling, players can still enjoy what sportsbooks, fantasy sports operators, and all the state lottery has to offer. If any changes to the legislation do occur, you will find updates here on this page.


The only legal types of gambling in Tennessee are fantasy sports and the state lottery. Thanks to the passing of bill HB 1, the state is in the final stages of approving new laws that will legalize online sports betting.

You can currently gamble online in Tennessee through a fantasy sports operator or the Tennessee Lottery. Once the new legislation for sports betting has been launched, you will only be able to bet on sports through online sources.

Once the new legislation from bill HB 1 has been enacted, you will be able to bet on a variety of sports at different levels. However, unlike in other states where you can head to a brick-and-mortar location to place a bet, you will only be able to do so in Tennessee online. You will have to use a website or app regulated by the Tennessee state government to gamble on sports here.

The legal gambling age in Tennessee is 21. Players must be 18+ to buy tickets for the state lottery.


Jennifer Marsh

Jennifer is constantly on the lookout for the latest updates on US gambling legislation. She has a soft spot for blackjack and poker, but spends a lot of time writing about other facets of the online gambling world as well.

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