It won’t be long now before the Volunteer State of Tennessee joins traditional legal online sports betting states like Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and has its own legal online sportsbooks. Just when exactly that will be remains a little unsure, but gaming industry experts insist that come the second-half of 2020, online sports betting will be legal and live in Tennessee, just in time for the NFL season.
In May 2019, Tennessee became part of an ever-increasing number of states to adopt and legalize online sports betting. Unique in its nature, Tennessee made history in the States by adopting online sports betting without the State previously having legal land-based casinos. The Volunteer State’s moment of history arrived when the State Legislature passed sports betting HB 0001 in May 2019, and Governor Bill Lee let the bill pass into law without any requirement for his signature.
On April 15 2020, the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation (TELC) adopted the final set of sports betting regulations. The unique online-only sports betting law design looks set to provide a great example for other traditionally non-gaming states to follow in the future. Who knows, this radical law may even assist anti-gaming states like Utah or Hawaii to follow Tennessee’s lead.
When will Tennessee online sports betting begin?
Chances are, if the NFL actually begins on time in 2020 this September, sports betting in Tennessee may already be up-and-running. The TELC’s goal is for the Volunteer State to have the first legal online sportsbooks available sometime between July and September 2020.
What Tennessee’s Online Sports Betting system will look like
The TELC require an annual payment of $750 000 for a sports betting licence, and the state government will impose a 20% gross gaming revenue tax, in addition to the imposition of a 10% minimum hold requirement (bettor ‘pay back’ of no more than 90% of all bets taken) that the sportsbooks are expected to adopt by dialling down their betting odds by 10%.
Moreover, the state’s sportsbooks operators will be required to purchase official data from the major sports leagues leagues in order to accept in-game wagers, to date the stickling point in getting sports betting underway in Tennessee.
Tennessee state residents 21 years of age or older will be permitted to place wagers, but only within state boundaries and those state lines will be protected by the latest in geolocation technology.
TELC will also prohibit people from the following groups to participate in Tennessee Sports Betting;
- A TELC member or employee.
- An owner, partner, member of the board of directors, officer, or supervisory employee of a licensee, or a professional sports team.
- A player or coach of a collegiate or professional sports team, or a member or employee of any governing body of a sports team, league or association.
- A person who has the ability to affect the outcome of a sporting event directly (such as referees or umpires)
- Any other category of persons (as determined by TELC) that if allowed to place a wager, could potentially affect the integrity of sports wagering in Tennessee.
TELC will permit wagering on professional sports, eSports and motorsports, in addition to college sports (with the exception of prop bets on any college sporting events) and the Olympic Games or any other athletic event sanctioned by a national or international organization.
Once begun, registration for a Tennessee online sports betting account has been specifically legislated to mirror other legal states, and you’ll need to provide the following in order to complete your sign-up;
- Social security number
- Phone number
Happy Sports Betting Tennessee – it’s coming soon!