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Online Gambling in Tennessee: an Expert Guide

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Gambling in Tennessee

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Online Gambling in Tennessee: an Expert Guide

Tennessee gambling laws are among the most restrictive in the United States. While Utah and Hawaii surpass Tennessee in banning gambling activities, few others equal Tennessee in its quest to limit betting activities. Tribal casinos, commercial casinos, and race tracks are banned. Even bingo halls are banned in the state. The Tennessee State Lottery is legal, while off-track betting and simulcasting are legal.

The ban against land-based casinos is ineffective in large parts of the state. Because Memphis is on the border with Arkansas and Tennessee, those states take advantage of the local geography to cater to Memphis-area gamblers. A couple of casinos in West Memphis, Arkansas are only 15 minutes away, while nearly a dozen casinos in Tunica County, Mississippi are little over an hour away from Memphis.

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Tennessee Online Gambling Law FAQ

Tennessee Gambling Laws

Most forms of gambling are not legal in Tennessee. Casino gambling is banned, though a state lottery was established in 2003. Tennessee residents now can buy Powerball and Mega Millions tickets in the state. Most other forms of gambling are banned.

States which ban charitable bingo are pretty hard core about their gaming laws. The 1835 Constitution banned lottery betting, but since Bingo was not a game at the time, it was not banned. Based on that premise, lobbyists convinced the legislature to legalize charitable bingo in the 1970s.

By 1989, lawmakers banned charitable gambling again. Organizations can hold annual raffles for fundraising. “Cakewalks” are allowed, too. PTO Today describes what a cakewalk is: “As music plays, children walk around a large circle with numbers. When the music stops, a number is picked from a container and the child standing closest to the corresponding number on the circle wins a cake.”

The prizes can be donated cakes or other prizes, but the competition remains the same whatever the prize is.

Does Tennessee Have Land-Based Casinos?

No. Tennessee does not have land-based casinos.

No. Tennessee does not have land-based casinos. While one might expect to see a conservative southern state ban commercial casinos, the Volunteer State does not even have tribal casinos. Many Native American tribes east of the Mississippi were forcibly removed to the frontier in the 1830s and before by Tennessee native and two-term US President Andrew Jackson. For that reason, Tennessee does not have federally recognized tribes to host reservation casinos.

While residents can’t play at in-state casinos, those who live near Memphis can drive 1 hour and 15 minutes into Northwestern Mississippi to gamble at the Tunica County casinos. The city of Robinsonville, officially named “Tunica Resorts” now, is host to several riverboat casinos owned by nationally famous companies like MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, and Penn National Gaming.

Does Tennessee Have Any Legal Betting Tracks / Shops?

No. The state does not have legal horse tracks or dog tracks, though betting on horse racing is legal in off-track betting facilities.

No. The state does not have legal horse tracks or dog tracks, though betting on horse racing is legal in off-track betting facilities. Betting on dog races is illegal.

While Tennessee does not have race tracks, Memphis residents can drive 15 minutes to West Memphis, Arkansas for racebook betting at Southland Park. After Amendment 4 was passed in the 2018 midterm elections, residents eventually will be able to play at the Southland Casino, too.

Does Tennessee Allow Off-Track Betting?

Yes. Tennessee allow off-track betting on horse racing and simulcasting.

Yes. Tennessee allow off-track betting on horse racing and simulcasting. Most off-track betting locations simulcast thoroughbred races from over 200 tracks across the nation and worldwide. Nashville alone has over 20 such locations. Here are ten off-track betting facilities located around Nashville.

Does Tennessee Allow Charitable Gambling?

No. Tennessee allowed charitable gambling until 1989, when the legislature repealed the law which legalized it.

No. Tennessee allowed charitable gambling until 1989, when the legislature repealed the law which legalized it. The Tennessee Charitable Gaming Implementation Law allows for charitable gambling. Civic organizations can raise funds with an annual raffle or cakewalk, but these activities are small in nature.

Is Social Gaming Allowed in Tennessee?

Yes, but players need to be careful about the social games they play for real money.

Yes, but players need to be careful about the social games they play for real money. Any kind of giveaway could be prosecutable. If you receive compensation or rewards from a social casino, it could be illegal. That means sites like MyVegas, which allow players to build up rewards for MGM Resorts’ land-based casinos in other states, would be deemed illegal.

That being said, free play social casinos like Double Down Casino, Big Fish Games, Zynga, and Slotomania are legal in Tennessee. All four allow social gaming on Facebook or in a mobile app available on Google Play for Android and the iTunes App Store for iPhone and iPad.

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