Tennessee

Tennessee is unique among U.S. states having the distinction of offering more legal online betting options than it does land-based gambling. The state of Tennessee is traditionally quite anti-gambling with no land-based racetracks, casinos, poker rooms or legal sports betting options at all.

Take into account that Tennessee didn’t even have a state lottery until as late as 2003, and you should begin to gain some kind of perspective as to exactly how reluctant Tennessee has been over time to accept legal gambling of any form.

Of course, there are exceptions. Tennessee actually has online betting options for Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and most U.S.-based horse racing betting sites accept customers from the state of Tennessee without any legal barriers of any kind.

Legality of Sports Betting VS Gambling

No Casinos, No poker, No sports betting. Tennessee is a traditional anti-gaming state but does gamblers legal DFS competitions, a popular state lottery, horse racing (online and off-track) and charitable gambling.

Sports & Gambling Type
Legal Land-Based
Legal Online
Sports Betting
No
No
Casinos
No
No
Fantasy Sports (DFS)
N/A
Yes
eSports
No
No
Poker
No
No
Horse Racing
Yes
Yes
Lottery
Yes
No
Charitable Gambling
Yes
No

Tennessee Sports Betting Tax Rates

There is no state tax on gambling winnings in Tennessee.

However, gambling wins over a $600 amount in the state of Tennessee may possibly attract an additional Federal Tax.

We recommend contacting your tax attorney to assess your potential Federal tax liability if you have a big win in Tennessee.

Sports betting Age VS Gambling Age in Tennessee

For all its limited gambling types, Tennessee keeps it simple and applies an across the board age limit of 18.


Sports & Gambling Type
Age
Sports Betting
N/A
DFS
18
Casinos
N/A
Horse Racing
18
Lottery
18
Charitable Gambling
18

Betting on Sports in Tennessee

Tennessee’s State Legislators can now legitimately consider the possibility of introducing legal sports betting to the Volunteer State. After the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to pass sports betting laws back to the states in May 2018, Tennessee’s lawmakers are now free to determine their own sports betting fate following the successful court challenge by the state of New Jersey to defy the nationwide Federal sports betting ban.

No sports betting legalization bills have yet been introduced in Tennessee and the State Legislature’s silence on the topic has been deafening. It’s pertinent to recall that Tennessee is the same state where the Attorney General once announced that fantasy sports would be illegal under the state’s gambling laws. It finally took the State Legislature to bring DFS back to Tennessee under an act of legislation, and it appears that a similar bi-partisan political act will possibly be required to legalize sports betting in Tennessee.

Tennessee Online Sports Betting Laws

Tennessee does not currently offer any legal sports betting options and it may remain that way for the foreseeable future. Tennessee is not the most gambling friendly state of the union. Most forms of gambling are deemed illegal under section 39-17-501 of the Tennessee State Code and state lawmakers will be required to get onboard the sports betting wagon before the state’s gamblers can look forward to enjoying legal sports betting.

Under Tennessee law, gambling expansion requires a referendum at the ballot box, or an official exemption. However, Tennessee’s voters have approved two such exemptions in the past: one for the lottery and another for horse racing betting.

Moreover, the state’s lawmakers bypassed a referendum when they passed DFS legislation in 2016. If Tennessee voters choose a Democratic Governor next time around in a gubernatorial election, it could go a long way to expediting the introduction of legal sports betting in the state.

For the time being however, residents and visitors of Tennessee can bet 100% legally on horse racing and enjoy playing DFS real money competitions until legal sports betting becomes a reality.

 

For the time being however, residents and visitors of Tennessee can bet 100% legally on horse racing and enjoy playing DFS real money competitions until legal sports betting becomes a reality.

Online Fantasy Sports in Tennessee

Federal lawmakers have decreed that Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) are contests of skill and not considered to be gambling. Subsequently, DFS is therefore immune from all forms of Federal gambling regulation or intervention.

State governments across the United States have been exercising their state rights, and consequently, they have been legalizing DFS and regulating the practice under their respective state laws.

Tennessee’s gaming laws do not restrict real money DFS competitions and DFS sites are free to offer their real money competitions to residents and visitors to the Volunteer State.

In April 2016, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed the Fantasy Sports Act into State law. The act specifically legalized DFS and the operators are required to obtain a license from the Secretary of State.

Once licensed, fantasy site operators must adhere to a number of regulations;

  • $2500 per month Deposit Limit for Players.
  • Players’ funds must be kept in a separate bank account and must not be combined with the fantasy site’s operational funds.
  • Players must be at least 18 years old and not hold multiple DFS accounts.
  • Fantasy sites must maintain records of all player accounts for five years.
  • Preventing employees from participating in paid contests and more.
  • Combating problem gambling.

Under these regulations, DFS games for real money are offered in Tennessee without any hinderance from state authorities and the industry is in full-swing.

eSports Online Betting Laws

It may seem a long way off now, however, once legal sports betting, and therefore eSports betting, becomes reality in Tennessee, gamblers in the state will be able to access transparent betting markets untarnished with an illegal or underground history.

What are eSports?

Since multi-player video gaming started in the early 2000s, the game’s players have constantly been conspiring to outscore their opponents.
Now, eSports (professional video game play at-the-highest-level) have cultivated big global betting markets based on the outcomes of the all the worldwide tournaments.
The players battle for glory in games like Dota 2, Rocket League and CS;GO worldwide in a series of networked tournaments. Growing rapidly, the eSports industry is expected to cross the $1 billion threshold in late 2018 / early 2019 and keeps growing quickly year-on-year.
When sports betting finally graces your favorite legal Tennessee sports book, look for legal eSports wagering to play a prominent role in your available betting types.

Horse Racing in Tennessee

Under Tennessee racing laws, licensed horse racing and simulcast betting at licensed OTB facilities are all permissible. The state however, does not have any operating racetracks.
The state’s racing industry will soon be overseen and administered by the recently legalized (under bills SB 1908, and SB 346 / HB 814) Tennessee State Horse Racing Commission.

Trackside Betting

There are currently no legal or licensed horse racing tracks currently operating in Tennessee.

Off Track Betting (OTB) in Tennessee

Tennessee has several ‘satellite tele-theaters’ that operate as OTB locations for simulcast betting.

Online Horse Racing in Tennessee

Thankfully, given the limited number of options for online bettors in the state of Tennessee, it is possible to place horse racing wagers online without any fear of punishment under the state’s quite strict gambling laws.
Excellent online odds are available for Tennessee’s online horse racing fans on all the major horse racing venues worldwide and thoroughbred racing venues across the United States directly from their phones, tablets, smartwatches, other mobile devices or home computers.

Visit our Gambling in Tennessee page for more information on online gambling in the Volunteer State

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