19 Jun, 2021


Tennessee happens to be that state which is regulated by strict government laws. It is among those states where just a few gambling games are legal. Quite disheartening for the gambling lovers, but the Tennessee Attorney General’s office declares a straight “no” to almost 90% of gambling games. Few games are legalized, with strict supervision. Let’s see what the deciding criteria for online gambling, online casino and real money in Tennessee are.

  • Online casino & sports betting is legal
  • Sports betting is legal
  • Considering legalizing online gambling


Forget about online casino state, there is not a single land-based casino in the state of Tennessee. Fact is, one who is aware of Tennessee’s strict governance, will probably not be surprised at all.

With zero availability of casinos, a gambling lover must drive to the border of Mississippi. Tennessee simply does not show a thumbs up to any traces of casinos where gambling can be done.

Any Commercial Casino, Racino Or Tribal Casino in Tennessee?

There are no traces of a single commercial or tribal casino and racino in Tennessee.


Quite a relief to share that there are few games that are legal in Tennessee. Though the number is quite small. Before listing out the legalized games, it’s always better to know which games are predominantly illegal.

Legal & Illegal Games In Tennessee

Games like Horse Racing Betting, Lottery, Daily Fantasy Sports and Charitable Gaming (subjected to many restrictions) are legal.

Other games like Casino Gambling, Poker (both land-based and online), Dog Racing, Social Gambling and Sports Betting (both field and online sports betting) are illegal.

Legal Status for Online Gambling Variants

Online gambling happens to be juggling between the thin line of legal and illegal! Few online gambling such as poker, casino-style gaming, and skill-based games will always be illegal. House Bill 603 and Senate Bill 691 presented in 2013 clearly stated the pros and cons of these online gambling and since then, it was made illegal and will always remain as illegal. But few sites do work and US gamblers can put their money to online wagering as these sites are not yet declared illegal by the Tennessee government. They are:

  • BOVADA with bonus 50% up to $250
  • BETONLINE with bonus 100% up to $1000
  • SLOTS.LV with bonus 200% up to $5000

Status of Online Horse and Greyhound Racing & Availability Of Fantasy Sports Site

Horse and greyhound racing is legal and so you can find online sites to play the game. Online horse and greyhound racing sites are:

  • BETAMERICA offering $300 signup bonus with over 1000 races a week to bet on (Read the review here)
  • TVG offering $150 signup bonus and extra $50 for players who refer this site to a friend

Tennessee has fantasy sports sites like DraftKing and FanDuel with bonus up to $300 on your first deposit.

Status of Charitable Gambling & Lottery Gaming In Tennessee

As already mentioned, charitable gaming or gambling is made legal, but with a lot of restrictions. Only forms like a raffle, a reverse raffle, a cakewalk, or a cakewheel are legal in Tennessee.
There’s a partial or total restriction on every the lottery options present in Tennessee. Lottery playing within the state is absolutely fine, but, if any player buys a ticket and plans to re-sell it outside the state, that is deemed illegal. If you go for such a venture, please be sure of the consequences you have to face if caught.

Do These Games Require Any Legal Age?

Any player who wishes to play has to attain 18 years of legal age.


Just like as casino, sports betting is also illegal in this state. Sportsbooks or other forms of traditional sports betting was never legal in Tennessee. Betting such as horse-racing betting is an exception. This form of betting is legal and works with full vigor.

Tennessee is among those states who hate risking real money value of any people. Games that are luck based and has a risk of losing money is not appreciated by the Tennessee government at all. So if anyone wishes to invest in any form of bookie or sportsbook, should know well that such an action will be totally unguarded and unreliable.

People found associated with such betting establishment are subjected to harsh penalties and punishments. Goverment officials supervising gambling frontiers in Tennessee can put you to a Class E felony punishment, leading to six years of imprisonment and a fine of $10,000.

Now moving on to online betting, it is apparently clear that online sportsbooks or betting sites are also considered illegal. The state law doesn’t protect a player’s financial investments if he or she invests into any forms of online gambling or sports betting.


Any Availability of Bricks or Mortar casinos?

No. There is no major availability of any bricks or mortars in Tennessee.

Legal Perimeters for Gambling in Tennessee

There are many laws that are enforced to control after the gambling industry of Tennessee. But before laws, one should first know the reason behind this strict legislation against gambling.
Being 30th in Lottery National ranking, there is a clear picture that how unpopular Tennessee is when it comes to gambling. A major part of it is banned or illegal, and few that are allowed fail to grow popular because of the strict regulations. This state is against the ritual of losing money in the hands of some game which based on luck.

  • Government Codes Against Gambling:
    Tennessee Code 4-36-101 declaring “gambling” as:
    “…risking anything of value for a profit whose return is to any degree contingent on chance, not including lawful business transactions.”
    Section 39-17 also condemns the whole idea of gambling.
    The Tennessee Liquor Control board also keeps an eagle eye on the games played within Tennessee.
  • Government Laws & Regulations:
    In 1906, the Tennessee State lawmakers had declared a ban on gambling.
    In 2005, Tennessee’s AG’s office declared poker as illegal in the state.
  • Government Charges On Illegal Gambling:
    If you are unfortunate enough to be caught while gambling illegally, Tennessee government will charge you as Class C misdemeanor. This can cause a fine ranging from $1 to $50.
    Also, if a resident is found setting a poker tournament with the intention of making money will be charged under Class B misdemeanor, with a fine as high as $250.


Not really. Neither it’s a red card nor a green card. Online gambling is basically between these two cards- that is an orange card supposedly. As discussed earlier, some sites do work and there is no harm in putting money in it because we find no such restriction on these sites. Though we cannot possibly predict its legal consequences of doing so. We haven’t heard any legal court cases about it yet which tells us that the risk is extremely slim.


The overall situation is quite a disappointment for gambling lovers or pro gamblers. But, on the other hand, its a relief to the Tennessee government where money security and inappropriate wealth drainage is concerned. So, before enjoying the cosmos fragments of gambling prevailing in Tennessee, please be sure of the legal clause and appreciate the concern of Tennessee government. Nevertheless, be rest assured, whatever little you get in Tennessee gambling scene, will be a complete gambling jubilance for you!

The legal gambling status of all US states

An interactive map is provided below that shows all US states and the current gambling rules prevalent in that state. Click on the state of your choice to know more about its rules and regulations.