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Online Tennessee sports betting gives fans options and state more tax revenue

Sports betting officially launched November 1 in Tennessee and has taken off. There are four licensed operators in the state.


Many of us have been spending extra time in the house and sports fans are using that time to weigh their bets to score in some extra cash.  

Sports betting officially launched November 1 in Tennessee, although it was legalized in the state last May.  

Since there are no casinos in the state, people can make bets online or through mobile apps and some locals have been cashing in on their favorite teams.  

Due to the change, Tennessee residents will no longer have to travel to West Memphis or Tunica to place their bets in casinos.  

Local 24 News Weekend Anchor Annette Peagler found two local sports bettors.  

Michael Davis loves sports and he’s been participating in sports betting in Tennessee since it went live.  

“The ones that I use, I use BETMGM because it’s linked with Gold Strike and Gold Strike gives me comps while I’m betting online, Davis explained.  

There are four licensed Tennessee online sports betting operators so far: BETMGM, DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook and Tennessee Action 24/7.  Some bets you can make can be as low as $5 to $10.  

“You can bet on a team to win, you can deposit money through PayPal, bank account, debit card and if your team wins. And if your team wins you can deposit that money in your account and it’s typically there the next day, said Shawn Lee, who also tries his luck.  

Matt Raffensperger, CMO of FanDuel Group says Tennessee will receive 20 percent of all gross gaming revenue that online betting sites make.  According to a state bill, 80 percent of the tax received by the state will go to the Tennessee Education Lottery and 15 percent will be distributed to local governments and 5 percent goes to the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.  

A positive here in Tennessee is the slate of sports available to bet.  

“Covid pushed all the sports into one like bubble where all the sports were pushed back into a certain time...we have tennis, Korean Japanese Baseball college football and pro football, Davis said.  

The Tennessee Education Lottery charges an annual online-only licensing fee of $750,000 for all operators.   

Davis and Lee say making the extra money while working from home, is a win-win.  

“I only bet anywhere from like 1-10 dollars. The biggest ticket I won was probably like $470. I probably won about $1,700 in two months, Davis explained.

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