Keeping Tabs: How Geolocation Might Work For Tennessee Sports Betting

Posted on November 7, 2019 - Last Updated on March 9, 2020

Tennessee sports betting geolocation will be an essential part of wagering on events in the Volunteer State when it goes live. While that might sound really technical, it’s actually not all that complicated.

Because legal sports betting in Tennessee will be completely online, bettors who take part will already have everything they need. The technology works without much involvement on the end user’s part.

How Tennessee sports betting geolocation will probably work

While two states that border Tennessee have already legalized sports betting in some form, the Volunteer State is the only one so far that will offer mobile wagering untethered to a physical sportsbook. You will still be required to be in the state for your bets to count though.

Although much of the framework for wagering on sports in the Volunteer State is yet to be determined, it’s likely this aspect will be very similar to other states. The necessary components already exist.

Online sportsbook operators like DraftKings and FanDuel work this technology into their products. They contract with companies like Geocomply to provide location services.

When you register for an account with an online sportsbook, part of the terms of service you have to agree to include allowing the app or website to determine your location while you are using the product. If you don’t agree to the terms, the sportsbook won’t allow you to use its service.

From there, the app or website software uses the location services already embedded in your device or your computer’s IP address to determine your physical location. The service is very accurate, usually to within 70 meters.

While bettors won’t have to be legal Tennessee residents to place bets, they will have to be within the state’s borders to participate. While some users may try to get around the location requirements to make wagers in states where sports betting remains illegal, sportsbooks account for that.

Masks, tunnels and VPNs won’t allow users to cheat

State governments and sportsbooks aren’t oblivious to the existence of technology that individuals can use to try to cheat the system. Such attempts will fail.

The software won’t allow users to place bets unless it’s confident in their location. That means any software that masks location will result in users being blocked from betting.

For “tunnels,” or services that allow users to connect to the Internet at one location from another place, services like Geocomply are working to provide solutions. The same goes for virtual private networks or VPNs.

The good news is that even if you’re just inside the state’s borders, you can participate. The accuracy of the geolocation is that precise.

While there’s no date for when legal betting will launch, location services will be a vital part of the execution. As long as you’re physically within the state borders, you should be able to play.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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