FILE - Sports betting, gambling

The football odds betting board at a Las Vegas casino sportsbook.

(The Center Square) – Sports fans in Tennessee placed the first legal sports bets in the state this week, as sports wagering became legal Sunday.

Sports wagering is estimated to generate up to $4.5 billion in revenue each year, according to a study by Oxford Economics. The state will collect about 20 percent of that revenue – the second-highest tax rate on sports betting in the country – to support scholarships in the state.

Tennessee is the 19th state to legalize sports betting, and with no brick-and-mortar establishments, it is the first state to offer sports betting only online.

Four sports betting apps are licensed to operate in Tennessee; three national operators FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM, and a Nashville-based enterprise, Action 24/7, which operates only in Tennessee.

Bets are limited to people over the age of 21 who are physically located in the state. Residency is not required. The sports betting app will verify the bettor’s location using the device’s GPS technology before a wager is placed.

Legislation authorizing sports betting passed in May 2019 and became law without Gov. Bill Lee’s signature.

Staff Reporter

Vivian Jones reports on Tennessee and South Carolina for The Center Square. Her writing has appeared in the Detroit News, The Hill, and publications of The Heartland Institute.