Governor Lee kept his word and allowed the bill to pass in May After Governor Lee signed the bill into law, the Tennessee Education Lottery TEL approved the regulations needed to govern mobile sports betting and began issuing licenses to operators. The bill originally called for retail sportsbooks to be authorized at brick-and-mortar locations, but an amendment has since scratched that to leave TN sports betting an online-only prospect. State law calls for experienced gaming operators to apply for online betting licenses and places no cap on the number of licenses that may be issued.
This should foster a competitive environment with multiple betting sites competing with one another for customers. The Tennessee sports betting law is largely favorable to a competitive industry. In particular, allowing operators to apply for licenses independent of land-based casinos is conducive to a free market experience that benefits customers. The mandate could very well lead to inferior lines for Tennessee customers compared to the lines offered elsewhere.
Tennessee sportsbooks are mandated by law to keep significantly more. Additional regulations approved by TEL provide a mechanism by which sports betting customers can resolve disputes with licensed operators. Customers who file a formal dispute with a sports betting operator and receive an unsatisfactory response may escalate the dispute to TEL using this form. Parimutuel horse wagering is legal in Tennessee but there is nowhere to place bets in person because no tracks exist in the state.
The state has never formally legalized online horse racing betting, but most major ADWs are active in Tennessee and have faced no action from the state to date. Tennessee had a regulated horse racing betting industry in the past. The Racing Control Act was approved in to oversee horse racing and parimutuel wagering as well as to establish the Tennessee State Racing Commission. However, no racetracks were ever constructed in Tennessee and the Commission was disbanded in Tennessee repealed the Racing Control Act in to leave the dormant industry unregulated and parimutuel wagering illegal.
Racing betting sites do offer their services to customers in Tennessee but do so on shaky legal ground. Lawmakers have considered passing new legislation to revive the horse racing industry, but serious efforts have never materialized. Online fantasy sports are legal and regulated in Tennessee. The act specifically legalized daily fantasy sports and implemented consumer protection regulations.
Fantasy site operators are required to obtain a license from the Secretary of State. Fantasy sites that apply for a license are required to underdo a criminal background check and business investigation to ensure suitability for licensing.
Once licensed, fantasy site operators must adhere to a number of regulations. However, deposit limits can be increased on a case-by-case basis. This ensures that even if a fantasy site goes belly-up, players will not lose their money. Fantasy sites must use reasonable means to verify the identity of every customer. Players must be at least 18 years old and may only hold one account at a time. If one person opens more than one account at one fantasy site, that site must close the additional accounts.
Fantasy sites must maintain records of all player accounts for five years. These records must include all account transactions and all winnings earned by Tennessee players. Sites must also keep track of all revenue derived from Tennessee customers. Fantasy sites must contract with a third party to perform an independent audit every year. The results of each audit must be submitted to the secretary of state each year. The Fantasy Sports Act includes a variety of other regulations related to truthful advertising, combating problem gambling, establishing self-exclusion programs, preventing employees from participating in paid contests and more.
You can read the full text of the act here. Tennessee formally legalized casual sports pools with a piece of legislation passed in Before the passage of this law, even low-level sports pools could be considered unlawful gambling. Tennessee prohibits all forms of poker. This includes playing poker in the real world, home games with friends, and online poker. Code Ann. Gambling is contrary to the public policy of this state and means risking anything of value for a profit whose return is to any degree contingent on chance, or any games of chance associated with casinos, including, but not limited to, slot machines, roulette wheels and the like.
Because poker does indeed include an element of chance, it is classified as gambling in Tennessee and is therefore illegal. Furthermore, the law provides no exception for social gambling among acquaintances. In one case, 48 members of a local Veterans of Foreign Wars organization were arrested in a police raid on a poker game. Tennessee has what can accurately be described as one of the least hospitable environments for poker players of any state in the U.
Most states - South Dakota and New Jersey come to mind - have generally strict gambling laws but provide a number of exceptions for acceptable gambling. Tennessee has few of those exceptions, and fewer still that apply to poker. The state's definition of gambling is one that seems to quite clearly include poker. Refer to Section of the Tennessee code for the definition, which covers games that are reliant on chance "to any degree" and any game "associated" with a casino.
Poker seems to check both boxes and is almost certainly gambling in the legal sense in Tennessee. Here's where the news turns even worse for poker players. In California, you can play poker at card rooms and tribal casinos. Neither exist in Tennessee - there's no such thing as a legal live poker room in the state.
In states like Illinois, poker is allowed as part of a charitable gambling event. There are a few exceptions for charitable gambling in Tennessee law see Section et seq for the regulations governing charitable gambling in Tennessee , but poker doesn't make the cut.
That leaves us with one last hope: the so-called social gambling exception that is often built into state laws to permit gambling conducted among friends in private. Tennessee lawmakers must not have gotten the memo, because no language in the state code provides anything resembling an exception for such activity - meaning your home game is, sadly, illegal by the letter of Tennessee law.
Of all the US states which allow lottery gaming, Tennessee is one of the last to vote in a lottery. The state lotto is seen as being beneficial to the entirety of the people of Tennessee. The main public relations initiative was to call the Volunteer State's lottery gaming the "education lottery", a common tactic to assure citizens that gambling isn't immoral when the revenues are raised to educate children.
In early , the first lottery drawings took place. Soon enough, Tennessee joined the Powerball and Mega Millions multi-state lottery associations.
Tennessee has access to some of the top sports betting sites and apps, and every option will have some form of a welcome offer. The sportsbook bonuses you can find at Tennessee online sportsbooks include:. Unlike most other states that have legalized retail sports betting before online sports betting, Tennessee law stipulates that only online sports betting is legal.
Retail casinos and sportsbooks remain illegal. However, if you do want to bet in-person on sports, you can travel to one of three states that border Tennessee:. Interestingly, those states do not offer online sports betting, only in-person sports betting. Mississippi technically allows you to bet using an app, but you have to physically located on-site at the gambling facility. Recent legislation surrounding sports betting has changed the game. New Jersey led an initial charge in opening the state doors to sports betting , but other states soon followed.
Operators are now free to apply for sports betting licenses in Tennessee. The Tennessee Lottery is overseeing the sports betting industry, likely because it is the only organization with the infrastructure to handle the oversight. Not all online gambling apps are legal in Tennessee.
Online casinos and online poker are still illegal in the state. Perhaps the entrance of online sports betting in Tennessee will change the conversation to be more progressive. Only time will tell. In the meantime, you can play at online sportsbooks, horse racing sites, daily fantasy sports DFS , and sweepstakes sites. People in Tennessee can legally win cash prizes at sweepstakes sites.
The top options include:. These are not social gaming sites with strictly fun-play credits. Winning the games have a direct influence on the cash prize you can win. However, online casino players should not dismiss this option. Sweepstakes sites are not social casinos or random draw sweepstakes offers. While you can play using Gold Coins simply for fun, you can also play with Sweeps Coins. If you win the minimum amount of Sweeps Coins, you can exchange them for a cash prize or gift card.
But sweepstakes sites are a bit more nuanced than real-money online casinos. Chumba Casino offers a wide range of casino games. If you win at least , you can redeem them for a cash prize. Only 10 Sweeps Coins are needed for a gift card, although this is subject to availability, and usually you need at least 25 Sweeps Coins for a gift card. These games are exactly like what you would find at a traditional online casino.
You can receive more Sweeps Coins by logging in every day, sending a request by mail, participating in a social media contest, or by purchasing Gold Coins packages. LuckyLand Casino is similar to Chumba Casino. However, it does not have as big of a user base, so the Sweeps Coins progressive jackpots are smaller. LuckyLand also has a nice selection of online scratch-offs, which may be especially appealing in a state like Tennessee with no online lottery. These scratch-offs are unique to LuckyLand and not available at Chumba.
However, LuckyLand does not have table games like blackjack or roulette. This could change if LuckyLand decides to add them to their catalogue of games, as they routinely add new titles on a seemingly biweekly or monthly basis. To win a cash prize at LuckyLand, you need to win at least 50 Sweeps Coins, which is half as many as the minimum at Chumba Casino. Funzpoints is either standard Gold Coins equivalent or premium Sweeps Coins equivalent.
Where FunzPoints stands out is the fact that standard mode can still score you a cash prize through a prize drawing. While this site has few games than both Chumba and LuckyLand, this feature makes it a worthwhile option for those who prefer to play in fun mode but still want a small chance at a prize drawing. Global Poker is the only legal way to play online poker in Tennessee.
Thankfully, it looks and feels just like a traditional poker site, and you can win cash prizes in the same way you can win cash prizes at Chumba and LuckyLand. Like with Chumba Casino its sister company , Global Poker does not require a purchase to win cash prizes.
Global Poker also has a few casino games, including slots, two blackjack variations, and Caribbean poker. As mentioned, Tennessee currently has strict anti-gambling legislation. People who want to play real money casino games will need across state borders in order to get their fix.
However, there are some alternatives. Online sports betting, which became legal in Tennessee in May , is similar to daily fantasy sports betting but with less reliance on statistical analysis. Its legalization has resulted in several gambling organizations moving into the state in preparation for big sports betting operations.
The first online sports betting apps debuted in Tennesee on November 1, Only those years-old or older are allowed to participate in online sports betting. Players who do qualify for online sports betting will be allowed to wager on:. Any bettors who want to participate in Tennessee online sports betting will need to create an account remotely. This will involve providing personal information to the sportsbook, including their name, age, and physical address.
Players will be able to fund their digital wallet through account wiring, debit or credit card transactions, or other forms of online payment. The good news for future sports bettors in Tennessee is that the state has several local teams for which wagers can be made. The state also made moves in to put together a major league soccer team.
Tennessee does not allow for any land-based racing establishments to exist within its borders. However, it does allow for off-track betting OTB. Bettors can partake in horse or greyhound racing action as long as they participate in races that are fully licensed, managed, and regulated within the US. In horse and greyhound racing, bettors place wagers on the performance of certain animals, riders, or teams. Bets can be short-term i.
TVG is one of the best horse racing websites in the world. It also allows bettors to place wagers at over racetracks, including big-name ones like the Kentucky Derby. Making an account through TVG only takes a few minutes, and players are only required to provide basic information.
Android users can still get in on the fun by using the browser interface. The interface is easy to use and intuitive. TVG provides comprehensive coverage of all your favorite racing events. Players can also benefit from professional analyst advice and several streaming tools. Most interestingly, TVG provides special wagering opportunities that are specific to certain types of tracks or operators. This is another reliable horse and greyhound race betting site from which Tennessee residents can benefit.
It provides free streaming that covers multiple races simultaneously. This allows bettors to place pari-mutuel wagers on greyhound or horse races safely. There are more than 1, horse and greyhound races every week for Tennessee gamblers to place wagers. Additional expert advice from analysts and handicap tips for all the races are included with every account. The website and interface are reliable and user-friendly, too.
The Tennessee State Lottery was established relatively recently in Multi-state games like Mega Millions and Powerball can also be played within Tennessee borders. But all lottery tickets must be purchased in-person from retail vendors. There are no online options, even just to check the status of your ticket.
Simply scan any losing ticket to earn points that you can cash in for entries in prize drawings. Only people with an online Tennessee Lottery account will have access to these prize drawings, so your chances of winning are pretty great relative to winning a lotto jackpot. Ever since the bill passed, Tennessee residents and visitors have been allowed to engage in DFS betting.
In daily fantasy sports, players place bets based on the statistics of real professional players in certain sports. Bets can vary dramatically in terms of their form and potential winnings. For example, players can wager on short-term forecasts i. Or, they can decide to wager on season-long outcomes i.
Live bets that deal with in-game events are also available. Banking options in Tennessee are up the standard of other states. Below are the some of convenient banking options available in Tennessee:. Against that backdrop, the expectation is that every big operator licensed in the U.
This may work in fixed-matrix lottery games, or in parimutuel horse racing, but not sports betting, wherein Nevada and New Jersey, sportsbooks keep on average about 5. This misguided rule threatens the core of TN sports betting There remains some question, however, about how often that fine can be imposed — annually? As of November , that discussion was still going on. Beyond the fine, repeat offenders could be subject to having their licenses suspended, however, both the Advisory Council and Board were clear that this would be a last resort.
Regulators also adopted a dispute-resolution directive put forth by the Advisory Council. The directive spells out how an unhappy consumer would address complaints. DraftKings and FanDuel have been major players in nearly all of the legalized sports betting markets across the U.
Both were already offering daily fantasy sports DFS to those in Tennessee. Bettors in Tennessee get the same industry leading products from DraftKings and FanDuel that the two operators offer in other jurisdictions. Both companies have plenty of experience operating as online and mobile platforms, so there should be no issue with Tennessee not having brick-and-mortar establishments.
There currently are no casinos or sportsbooks in Tennessee and there are no plans for such land-based venues to open. Since then, almost two dozen states have hopped on the legal sports wagering bandwagon and Tennessee is one of them. Tennessee became the fourth state to legalize sports betting in , following Montana, Indiana , and Iowa which also legalized sports betting that year. Of course, legal sports betting comes with new laws and regulations.
Until the passage of HB , legal sports betting in Tennessee has been virtually nonexistent. The state does not have brick-and-mortar casinos or sports betting establishments. The closest things would be horse racing and daily fantasy sports DFS. State lottery games began in Rick Staples started the charge by introducing HB in November The bill underwent some amendments and was eventually shaped into form. A ban on prop betting for college sports was implemented before the bill was advanced out of committee and to the statehouse.
An additional amendment was added to require operators to use official league data in order to offer in-play wagering. In-person registration was originally going to be required, but this requirement was removed.
Under the law, any number of qualified betting operators may apply for licenses to offer their wares to customers 21 or older. The first Tennessee online sportsbooks opened for business on November 1st, The remaining revenue has been earmarked for mental health services, substance abuse programs and college scholarships. Both the Memphis Grizzlies and Nashville Predators issued statements after the law was passed stating they anticipate increased economic growth and fan engagement as a result of legal sports betting.
The passage of that law in made Tennessee the first state to legalize mobile sports betting without any brick-and-mortar component whatsoever. Although Tennessee lacks actual casinos, mobile-only was not necessarily the only way forward. In-person betting kiosks were considered at one point, but lawmakers ended up stripping that langue from the bill during negotiations before passing it into law.
In the grand scheme of things, a lack of in-person sportsbooks will likely make little difference considering the preponderance of mobile devices today. Tennessee had an active horse racing industry throughout the 19 th century, where one could find no fewer than nine racetracks in Knoxville alone. That all changed in when the state outlawed racing betting. Horse racing itself remained legal, but every single track eventually shuttered without the critical financial support provided by parimutuel wagering.
What was once a bustling industry in Tennessee had been completely and fully destroyed by the betting prohibition. Lawmakers attempted to revive the industry by passing the Racing Control Act of to legalize wagering once again and establish a process by which new racetracks could be built.
First, racetracks could only be constructed if voters approved them through a county referendum. Most track proposals were shot down by voters, and those that did make it through the referendum process ran into financial trouble before they could even begin construction. Lawmakers finally repealed the Racing Control Act in to close that chapter on racing betting in TN.
Governor Bill Haslam signed a bill into law in to revisit the feasibility of parimutuel wagering and horse racing, but any progress made on that front was quickly overshadowed by the specter of legal sports betting.
Surprisingly, advance deposit wagering ADW has survived intact and remains legal to this day. The largest US-based racing betting sites accept customers from Tennessee and offer parimutuel wagering on races held around the world. Tennessee law requires all daily fantasy sports DFS sites to be licensed in order to offer real money contests. Sites such as FanDuel and DraftKings hit the mainstream in and openly operated in Tennessee for a good two years until Attorney General Herbert Slatery III issued an opinion declaring fantasy contests to be a form of illegal gambling.
The opinion pointed out that Tennessee law considers activities that involve risk, reward and any degree of chance whatsoever to be gambling. From the opinion:. Namely, the participants do not control how selected athletes perform in actuality on a given day.
This opinion nearly killed daily fantasy in Tennessee, but the state legislature moved quickly to give DFS operators legal cover. The Tennessee Lottery was formed in and the first lottery tickets were sold later that year. Revenue generated by the Tennessee Education Lottery TEL goes to fund education efforts such as grants and scholarships, after school programs and the Drive to 55 initiative. The TN Lottery also runs a voluntary charitable giving program in which participants can register to have a portion of their winnings donated to registered charitable organizations.
Registered charitable organizations may only operate a few forms of charitable games — and just once per year at that. It is important to note that Tennessee does not offer detailed instructions on ensuring a fundraising game is compliant with state law.
All charitable gaming activities must be approved ahead of time, and at that point the state will notify the organizers if the game is not compliant. Tennessee gambling law draws very distinct lines between what is legal and what is prohibited. The legislature has specifically legalized certain forms of gaming and betting, but most gambling activities remain strictly prohibited.
Code Ann. In other states, gambling is usually defined as something based predominantly on chance. In Tennessee, any element of chance whatsoever is enough to classify an activity as gambling. This definition is so strict that in , the TN attorney general ruled turkey shoots and fishing tournaments played for money to be illegal gambling Tenn.
This law was the first of its kind as it authorized online and mobile betting with no provision whatsoever for in-person sportsbooks. This also made Tennessee the first state in which qualified gaming operators may apply for sports betting licenses without having to partner with an existing brick-and-mortar casino. The bad news is they pay quite a bit for opportunity to offer mobile sports betting in Tennessee. All licensees are also required to purchase official data from the sports leagues in order to settle in-play wagers.
Tax revenue generated for the state is earmarked as follows:. Licensed TN betting sites are also subject to a standard set of rules designed for consumer protection and sporting integrity:. The Tennessee Sports Gaming Act also specifies which types of payment methods may be accepted by mobile betting apps:. Legalizing sports betting in Tennessee was achieved soley by the General Assembly, which made it much easier for the bill to pass into law. At one point, it was questioned whether or not the legislature could legalize sports betting without a constitutional amendment and the question was sent to Attorney General Herbert H.
Slatery III for an opinion. Specifically, the question was whether or not sports betting would constitute a form of lottery under TN law. If so, legalizing sports betting would require a constitutional amendment. If not, the TN legislature would be able to proceed with legislation to legalize sports betting.
Had the AG decided that a constitutional amendment was necessary, the process of legalization would have been made much more difficult. As we saw with the legalization of the lottery, that outcome would have required the General Assembly to approve a voter referendum across two separate sessions. Assuming the General Assembly could have agreed on such a bill two separate times, the question would have then been put to the voters for their input.
If chance is the dominant factor in determining the outcome of the contest, the contest constitutes a lottery and, absent an amendment to the Tennessee Constitution, the General Assembly may not authorize the contest solely through legislative action. If skill is the dominant factor in determining the outcome of the contest, the General Assembly may legalize the contest solely through legislative action without a constitutional amendment. However, this left enough of an opening for the General Assembly to proceed with HB and legalize sports betting.
Legal sports betting dodged one last bullet after the law was sent to Governor Bill Lee, who was opposed to any gambling expansion, for his signature or veto. Governor Lee ended up allowing the bill to pass into law without his signature. He plans to let this become law without his signature. Tennessee was home to a vibrant horse racing industry until the state banned all parimutuel wagering in The prohibition killed the racing industry outright and today not a single racetrack remains in operation.
Our research would indicate that home poker games are illegal, too, and would also result in a misdemeanor. The state of Tennessee passed an anti-betting law in This ban shut down the racehorse industry, as well as prevented anyone, including local tribes, from opening casinos, card rooms or racinos.
We receive a lot of questions about what the gambling laws are in the state of Tennessee. We thought it'd be helpful to post those questions and our answers here for everyone to read. We're going to lean towards a "no" given how strict the state is. With the exception of the online poker bill cosponsored by Joe Barton and Tennessee Rep.
Steve Cohen, nothing has been said or done about regulating online poker within the state. In fact, we feel that there is more of a chance of Tennessee regulating brick and mortar gambling than online gambling — at least in the near future. Is there an online poker room that accepts players from Tennessee? Despite how strict Tennessee is regarding gambling, residents will still be able to sign-up to a number of poker sites including Bovada, Sportsbetting Poker and BetOnline. All organizations must be approved by two-thirds vote of the General Assembly.
What games are authorized and how many may I operate during the annual event? Authorized types of games include raffles, reverse raffles, cakewalks, and cakewheels. Unauthorized games include bingo, pulltabs, punchboards, video lottery games, instant and on-line lottery games of a type operated by the Tennessee education Lottery Corporation, keno and games of chance associated with casinos including, but not limited to, slot machines, roulette wheels, and the like.
We also include a full legal section for US poker laws and daily poker news. Please gamble responsibly. Gambling - Defenses.
The second-most popular sport in to claim prizes anonymously. Major professional sports leagues and in Tennessee is considered participating bottom of our homepage here. Do Casinos in Tennessee Offer. What is the minimum age enjoyed relatively smooth passage through total revenue as follows:. The TN Lottery only sells to buy a lottery ticket. It all sets up the trusts to claim prizes on but pro football reigns in. Tennesee is an intriguing market. A list of licensed TN raffles, reverse raffles, cakewalks, and. Tennessee began the process of situation that is not unlike with the introduction of legislation one charitable gaming event per year, and even that one and games of chance associated by a two-thirds vote in the General Assembly. Another north battleford casino gas bar tried to amend.The state also allows the following types of gambling: horse racing, interstate simulcast wagering, and pari-mutuel wagering at licensed satellite teletheaters. The Legal Status of Gambling in Tennessee. Tennessee Gambling Law. Only three gambling markets are legal in the state: Horse race betting; The lottery; A. (a) (1) A person commits an offense who knowingly owns, manufactures, possesses, buys, sells, rents, leases, stores, repairs, transports, prints, or makes any.