Sports Betting Goes Live In Tennessee

Sports betting went live in Tennessee shortly after midnight on Sunday, November 1 when BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel launched their mobile apps. Local company Tennessee Acton 24/7 joined the others at 8 a.m. Tennessee is the only state with no commercial sportsbooks or casinos. DraftKings’ Johnny Avello (l.) said it’s an historic development.

Sports Betting Goes Live In Tennessee

Early in the morning on Sunday, November 1, sports betting launched in Tennessee, 16 months after being legalized by the state legislature. Three of the four allowable sports betting platforms—BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel—began taking wagers within the first hour, and Tennessee Acton 24/7 went live at 8 a.m. Analysts predicted sports betting will bring in an estimated $50 million in tax revenue to the state.

DraftKings Head of Sportsbook Johnny Avello said, “We at DraftKings couldn’t be more excited to be part of the Tennessee sports betting landscape. Tennesseans now gain the opportunity to wager on their favorite teams, as well as all other popular offerings on DraftKings’ extensive sports betting menu.”

FanDuel took its first Tennessee bet from former National Football League star Eddie George. FanDuel Chief Marketing Officer Mike Raffensperger said, “We know how passionate sports fans in the state of Tennessee are and we are no different, but our true passion is all about our customers. We are excited to offer a sports betting app experience that brings fans closer to the game with a number of unique sports betting opportunities, promotions and offers right in the palm of their hands.”

Raffensperger said another reason FanDuel wanted to set up shop in Tennessee is, “it’s the first state to be legislating and now regulating without a historic gaming marketplace. They didn’t have licenses or kind of physical gaming locations that served as sort of a backbone, but rather went directly to online sports betting and bringing that marketplace to life directly. It’s exciting.”

BetMGM Chief Executive Officer Adam Greenblatt stated, “We’ve been eagerly working with regulators in Tennessee to make this momentous launch a possibility and look forward to introducing the state’s passionate fan bases to the excitement of betting on sports with BetMGM.”

Local operator Tennessee Action 24/7 is the first local operator to launch live sports betting anywhere in the U.S. Owner Tina Hodges said the first bet was placed by “Sam in Old Hickory on the hometown favorite.” She added, “We are excited to be the only Tennessee-owned and operated licensed sportsbook.”

Brian Pempus with noted, “I think bettors will be happy with the product. It’s good that it’s launching during the NFL season which is a very positive time for betting.” Pempus said adding sports betting in Tennessee could bring new professional sports leagues to the state. “Major League Baseball and other sports leagues have forged relationships with gambling operators and I think a baseball team in Nashville is a natural fit, especially with sports betting.”

DraftKings now has live mobile platforms in nine states, FanDuel in eight and BetMGM in seven.

Tennessee is the 19th state to offer sports betting and the only U.S. jurisdiction to legalize digital-only sports betting. The state has no commercial casinos or sportsbooks. Apps for the three national operators are available for iOS and Android platforms. Bettors may wager on professional and college sports, the Olympics and eSports. Prop bets on college sports are banned.