Tennessee is one of the states in the US that has legal sports betting after the Supreme Court of the US struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 in May 2018. However, unlike other states with legal sports betting, Tennessee only allows online betting and doesn’t regulate any offline betting activities.
Also, only online sports betting is allowed locally and is regulated in the state. This means that the locals can’t play roulette online for real money locally or other casino games they love. Residents will have to go to other states for this or only play at social casinos which don’t allow them to place real money bets.
Some see playing at offshore-based online casinos, which can be risky since players are not protected by the local laws. So, even if online sports betting and Daily Fantasy Sports online are legal in Tennessee, many are wondering if other gambling options will be allowed in the state too.
The Governor’s Take on Online Gambling
A hurdle in pushing for online gambling legislation in the state is the governor itself, Governor Bill Lee. He’s been open to saying that he’s opposed to the legalization of gambling activities in the state.
Governor Lee’s press secretary, Laine Arnold, was the one who confirmed back then that the Governor didn’t see gambling in the best interest of the state. Before the House and Senate vote came, Arnold said:
“The governor has said he does not believe that the expansion of gambling is best, but he recognizes that many in the legislature found this to be an issue they want to explore further. He plans to let this become law without his signature.”
That’s exactly what happened because the sports betting bill became law without his signature. The House of Representatives and the Senate approved it. Senate Bill 16 concerning betting activities in the state passed a House vote of 58 to 37 while the Senate ended with 51 votes.
That said, it’s most likely that Tennessee will have to wait a while to enjoy other gambling activities within the state aside from sports betting.
Even in-person gambling is unlikely and isn’t in the plan of the current governor. He’s very appreciative that there were efforts to avoid building gambling houses or casinos in the state.
How are the Locals Gambling?
Well, even if online sports betting is the only gambling activity allowed in the state, the locals are still finding ways to play their favorite casino games online and offline. Some TN residents would cross state borders to visit neighboring states with legal casinos.
Many of them, especially the ones from Memphis, would go to the casinos in Tunica, Mississippi for this as the nearest casino is only 20 miles away. The Southland Park Gaming & Racing in West Memphis, Ark is also only 7 miles away.
Aside from doing this, many turn to online gambling on offshore-based casinos. The thing about doing this is that it’s neither legal nor illegal. However, it’s still best for the locals to check the laws in their jurisdictions to be sure that this is true for them.
Generally speaking, playing at online casinos based outside the US isn’t illegal. That’s why many US casino players rely on online casinos licensed by different jurisdictions like Curacao, Isle of Man, Malta, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom.
While many players would do this, it’s a risky thing since they’re not playing locally and are not protected by the local laws. That said, any customer trying to access these casino sites should do enough research to ensure that they’re dealing with legit operators.
Popular Betting Sites in Tennessee
Still, it’s a great thing that the state now has legal online sports betting. Here are the most popular betting sites and apps in Tennessee right now:
This is the ultimate choice if punters want to experience Vegas-style horse race betting and sportsbook. It’s also an official sports betting partner of big sporting events like the NFL. The Caesars Sportsbook app is downloadable from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.
Another big sportsbook in the industry is BetMGM Sports. It is a partner of the MGM Resorts nationwide and MGM physical casinos. So, anyone who intends to visit these places would love placing bets at MGM Sports because there are rewards that are usable in physical locations that they can get.
One of America’s biggest sports betting brands is FanDuel and here, punters can place bets on any sports event from any state. It’s also a popular choice for punters who enjoy Daily Fantasy Sports for football, baseball, and basketball.