Tennessee Gambling Guide: Online Gambling, Venues and Laws in TN

Tennessee gambling delivers an interesting mixture of real money betting opportunities to its residents. On the one hand, there are very few in-person avenues for betting in the state because of its strict laws. But real money gamblers don’t have to be slowed down by those laws. They can check out the top Tennessee gambling sites available to them:

Rank VA Gambling Site Deposit Bonus Products Get Started
#1 Las Atlantis Logo
Las Atlantis
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  • Casino
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#2 Wild Casino Logo
Wild Casino
250% Up To $5,000
  • Casino
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#3 BetUS Logo
BetUS
125% Up To $2,500
  • Sports
  • Casino
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#4 BetOnline Logo
BetOnline
50% Up To $1,000
  • Sports
  • Casino
  • Poker
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#5 Bovada Logo
Bovada
50% Up To $250
  • Sports
  • Casino
  • Poker
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If you were ranking a state based on the gambling opportunities it offers to its residents, Tennessee would be near the bottom of the list. It’s conservative in that regard and keeps the options to a minimum. Until that changes, your best option for wagering in the state is to utilize sites that are located in offshore areas but do allow access to Tennessee players.

In the following article, we’ll give you an in-depth guide to Tennessee gambling. We’ll explain what you can and can’t do when it comes to both gambling in person and online action according to state laws. And we’ll also help you out by showing you how to choose the best gambling sites available to you in the state.

The Best Tennessee Gambling Sites

If you’re interested in gambling online in Tennessee, there are certainly many options available to you when it comes to websites. But very few of these sites that you find on your internet searches should actually draw consideration from you as you make your choice. Instead, you should focus on the following sites, which are the best for Tennessee residents.

Each of these options does just about everything well when it comes to your online gambling experience. But they also have special characteristics that stand out and help them stand out from the pack. Take a look at the specifics of the best Tennessee gambling sites below.

Las Atlantis Logo

Las Atlantis

It’s been amazing to watch how quickly this site has risen to the top of the heap in terms of Tennessee online gambling sites. The massive introductory bonus offered by the site is one of the first things you’ll notice. But beyond that, this is an excellent online casino in every possible sense and one of the first that you should consider.
  • Some of the best bonuses you will encounter
  • Nice mobile option for portable play
  • Solid software for games means no technical issues
MyBookie Logo

MyBookie

MyBookie is one of those Tennessee gambling sites that has developed an excellent reputation over time. The only way you get to that point is if you have the support and trust of many online gamblers. You’ll likely be a satisfied customer as well if you sign up for MyBookie, for either its online sportsbook or its online casino.
  • Excellent reputation among both casinos and sportsbooks
  • Solid bonuses that are tailored to what kind of gambling you’re doing
  • Good choice among payment and deposit methods
Wild Casino Logo

Wild Casino

If you sign up with Wild Casino, you’ll be very pleased with the variety of games. But as you settle into the site, you’ll be very pleased at how smoothly your gambling will go. That means low-stress, low-hassle action, which can be as valuable as the winnings that you amass.
  • Interface is smooth and the site looks sharp
  • Mobile play works as well as play on the website
  • Goes deep into each category of games with its choices
Ignition Casino Logo

Ignition Casino

One of the things you’ll find at Ignition is that the site is one of the best options around for online poker. That means you get a wide selection of poker games and action at all times. In addition, the rest of the online casino is top-notch.
  • Competitive poker games at every level of play
  • Strong customer service to help you with any problems
  • Payback procedure is easy to understand and prompt

Different Types of Tennessee Gambling Sites

Not all Tennessee gambling sites provide the same kinds of bets to you. Some give you a full plate of betting options, while others tend to put their focus on a single type of gambling. Being able to distinguish what each site provides will pay a key role in you ending up in the right place for your real money gambling.

Tennessee Online Casinos

Online casinos often focus on slots games, which tend to be the most popular among casual bettors because of the ease of play. But most of these online casinos also feature simulations of table games like blackjack and roulette as well. What’s important is that these games should provide the same odds and opportunities for payback that you’ll get when you play them in a land-based casino.

Tennessee Sports Betting Sites

Many people prefer sports betting to casinos because they feel that they have more information at hand to give them an improved chance of winning. The best Tennessee online sportsbooks help you out by giving you many different types of bets so that you can attack games from many angles. Look for them also to provide bonuses that are specific to sports wagers.

Tennessee Poker Sites

When you look for poker sites, you should first look to see if the site gives you access to betting limits that fit your tolerance for risk. In addition, you should check to see if they have your preferred mode of play, whether it’s cash games or tournament play (or both). Finally, these Tennessee poker sites should have plenty of games going on at all times so that you can get your poker action in whenever you desire.

Online Gambling and Tennessee Law

Tennessee doesn’t address internet gambling in its criminal code. This puts
the Volunteer State in a grey area that’s served by many different offshore
operators.

But this doesn’t mean that iGaming is legal in the state, either. Let’s get
to the heart of the matter by looking at Tennessee’s gambling laws.

Is Online Gambling Legal in Tennessee?

No, but it’s not explicitly illegal either.

Tennessee includes no mentions of “online,” “internet,” or “computer” in
their criminal code.

But they do have broad definitions of what constitutes illegal gambling.
Therefore, it’s illegal to offer iGaming to Tennessee residents.

Code 39-17-504 discusses Aggravated Gambling Promotion with the following
points:

(a) “A person commits an
offense who knowingly invests in, finances, owns, controls, supervises, manages
or participates in a gambling enterprise.”

(b) “For purposes of this
section, “gambling enterprise” means two (2) or more persons regularly engaged
in gambling promotion as defined in § 39-17-503.”

The penalty for violating this law is a Class E felony.

Statue 39-17-504 makes it clear that they don’t allow unapproved gambling
businesses in their state. Given that Tennessee has never approved iGaming
sites, these companies are violating the law.

But the Volunteer State has never gone after online gambling sites, which is
why offshore businesses still serve their state.

Can I Get Arrested for Gambling Online in Tennessee?

It’s very unlikely. But you should still be aware of the laws.

The Tennessee Constitution discusses unapproved gambling in code 39-17-501
(1):

“… 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.”

The only exceptions to this law include the following:

  • Business transactions.
  • Approved charity gaming.
  • State lottery.
  • Daily fantasy sports.

Online sports-betting, poker, and casino games aren’t exempt from illegal
gambling. This means that it’s technically illegal to gamble online in
Tennessee.

But the chances of you being arrested for this crime are nearly zero percent.

Like almost every other state, Tennessee has never arrested someone for
internet gambling. If they haven’t done so in the 2-plus decades of iGaming’s
existence, they probably won’t do so any time soon.

Even if you were busted for unlawful gaming, the penalty is a low-grade
misdemeanor punishable by a $50 fine.

Are Offshore Gaming Sites Safe?

The answer depends upon the site.

We can’t offer a definitive yes, because offshore gaming sites aren’t based
in America. Therefore, they don’t adhere to American laws or licensing
requirements.

This means that an offshore site could technically fold up overnight without
repaying players’ deposit money.

Obviously, this is the nightmare scenario. But the good news is that most
iGaming sites are reputable operations that value repeat business.

Chances are good that you’ll be depositing with a solid site. However, you
should pay careful attention to the next question that we address.

How Do I Choose the Best Offshore Gaming Sites?

The number one thing you should do is read several reviews on a prospective
iGaming site. Reviews cover several important aspects in one place.

If you really want an in-depth opinion, you should also visit the site
directly. Below are some important points you need to address through your visit
and/or reading reviews:

  • Longevity
  • If an offshore
    gaming site has been in business for a while, there’s a good chance that they
    serve customers well and process withdrawals in a timely manner.

  • Reputation
  • Many reviews
    will discuss an offshore gaming company’s reputation, including whether or not
    they have any serious complaints.

  • Welcome Bonus & Promotions
  • Everybody loves earning free cash when playing online casino and poker games.
    This makes welcome bonuses and promotions key to earning money on the side.

  • Bonus Terms & Condition
  • Bonuses are always better when they offer light wagering requirements. The
    industry norm for online casino bonuses is wagering 20x the bonus + deposit
    amount before a cash out.

  • Game Variety
  • Games/lines are the key reason why people visit online casinos, poker sites, and
    sportsbooks. Make sure that any site you choose has a nice variety.

  • Banking Options
  • If you
    want to enjoy real-money gaming, you need to be able to deposit. This is why you
    should ensure that any prospective gaming site has a deposit option you can use.

Tennessee Gambling History

1804:

The first race track in the state opens. This is less than a decade after Tennessee first became a state.

1830s:

Tennessee horse racing is extremely popular at this juncture. Up to ten tracks are operational in the state, drawing local betting interest.

Early 20th Century:

The State Assembly essentially bans all forms of gambling in the state. This sets the tone for Tennessee’s anti-gambling stance, which they still largely hold today.

1987:

The state once again authorizes horse racing betting in the state. However, no tracks open up in Tennessee to popularize the practice.

1997:

The Tennessee Racing Commission, which had been formed with the 1987 law, essentially disbands. That makes horse racing in the state unlikely.

2002:

Tennessee becomes a latecomer to the lottery game when a law is passed legalizing the lottery. Two years later, the first games were offered, making the lottery the first legal form of gambling in the state.

2011:

For the first time, the state legalizes specific types of charity gambling. The idea is to help with flood relief, although charitable gambling can now be for other purposes.

2015:

The state repeals the act that legalized horse racing. Action on the sport in the state was basically nonexistent anyway.

2019:

In what many gambling experts considered a big surprise, Tennessee legalizes sports wagering. All of the betting takes place online, as there aren’t any in-person gambling establishments allowed in the state.

Tennessee Gambling Laws Overview

  • Casino Games: Illegal
  • Sports Betting: Legal
  • Poker: Illegal
  • Horse Racing Betting: Illegal
  • Lottery: Legal
  • Bingo: Illegal
  • Charitable Gaming: Legal
  • Social Gaming: Legal

As we mentioned above, Tennessee is not the place you want to be if you want to walk into an establishment and make legal bets on casino games, sports, or anything else. It is one of the most conservative states in that respect. Perhaps that will change in years to come when the state sees the economic benefits that could be derived.

But at least Tennessee did make the somewhat surprising move to allow sports gambling. And early numbers show that there is some serious interest among state residents for the practice. Maybe that will open up other avenues for legal gambling.

In terms of what the state considers gambling, it’s all laid out in the Tennessee Code:

“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.”

That phrase “contrary to the public policy of this state” pretty much sums up the attitude towards gambling in the state. But as we’ll see as we move through the different types of gambling, there are some exceptions that have been carved out.

Also, you’ll note above that we’ve listed casino gambling, horse racing gambling, and poker as all being illegal in the state. But that is only in terms of being able to do so through in-person establishments or online operations that are located in the state. If you use offshore gambling sites, which are located in areas where those practices are legal, you can gamble for real money in the state.

Casino Gambling: Illegal

You are out of luck if you want to visit a casino in Tennessee, because there are none. There aren’t any commercial casinos in the state because there is no law in place to allow them. Nor are there any Indian casinos because there are no state-recognized tribes, so there is no way to pull it off through the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

If you do want to gamble in a casino in person, you can try out the following casinos which are located not too far across state lines:

  • The Palace Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi
  • Horseshoe Tunica Hotel and Casino in Tunica Resorts, Mississippi
  • Beau Rivage Casino and Resort in Biloxi, Mississippi
  • Island View Casino Resort in Gulfport, Mississippi

Sports Betting: Legal

Tennessee

In a big surprise, Tennessee passed a sports gambling law making it legal to bet on sports within the state in 2019. In late 2020, the first operators in the state began taking bets. All of these operators are of the online variety, as there are no legal in-person sportsbooks in the state at this time.

The law specifies that you must be in the state to participate at Tennessee sports betting sites. Any sites that are licensed by the state will have geotracking capabilities. That means they’ll be able to see if you’re in the state when you’re using your device, whether it’s a computer or a portable option like a phone or tablet.

So far, the state has done brisk business in the sports betting market. Check out the handle numbers for Tennessee sports betting in the first six months of its existence, courtesy of PlayTenn.com:

  • November 2020: $131 million
  • December 2020: $181 million
  • January 2021: $211 million
  • February 2021: $176 million
  • March 2021: $206 million
  • April 2021: $172 million

Poker: Illegal

There is no provision in the Tennessee law code to allow poker gambling in the state, in either an in-person format or online. It is considered just another game of chance, which makes it illegal in the state. Without any casinos or poker rooms, you can’t get a legal real money game at any kind of public establishment.

Again, if you’re looking for poker action in the state, we suggest that you try a website that allows online gambling in Tennessee. With these sites, you can play poker against others who are signed up at the site, no matter where they might be. As long as these sites accept bets from people in Tennessee, you’re good to go for all your tournament and cash game action.

Horse Racing: Illegal

In 1906, the state of Tennessee outlawed horse racing. And though they legalized the practice in the ‘80s, that law never gained much steam and much of it went unrealized. In 2005, the state again put the kibosh on horse racing betting or the prospect of any tracks in the state.

Right now, there is only one site offering legal pari-mutuel betting to Tennessee residents. That’s TwinSpires.com, which is the online arm of Churchill Downs in Kentucky. Pari-mutuel wagering is the most common form of horse racing betting in America.

You can also bet on horse races by using Tennessee online gambling sites that are located overseas but cater to people in the state. These sites will offer you fixed odds bets on horse racing. Fixed odds means that your odds will be locked in when you make your wager, as opposed to pari-mutuel wagers, where the odds aren’t determined until all bets on a race are made.

Lottery: Legal

The first form of legal gambling in the state of Tennessee was the lottery, enacted by law in 2002 and put into action in 2004. As is the case with most states, the Tennessee lottery combines scratch-off tickets that you can buy locally with drawings. Here are the drawing games that you can play in Tennessee:

  • Powerball
  • Mega Millions
  • Lotto America
  • Cash4Life
  • Tennessee Quick Cash
  • Tennessee Keno To Go
  • Cash 3
  • Cash 4

According to the Tennessee Lottery website, the games have generated over $5.8 billion for education in the state. From that money, nearly 1.5 million scholarships have been granted to local students. That means the money generated from the lottery gambling is going to a very good cause.

Bingo: Illegal

It might be hard to believe, but bingo is technically illegal in the state of Tennessee. Many states prohibit commercial bingo establishments, but they do allow it for charitable gambling purposes. But not in Tennessee, as a FAQ on the website of the state’s Secretary of State notes:

“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.”

Charitable Gambling: Legal

Although bingo is illegal in Tennessee, there are some forms of charitable gambling available in the state:

  • Raffles
  • Reverse raffles
  • Cakewalks
  • Cakewheels

There are restrictions on these types of events and who can hold them. Once again, these rules are taken from the Secretary of State’s website FAQ on the subject:

  • “A qualified organization may conduct one event during an event period (1 year.)”
  • “The organization must have documentation from the Internal Revenue Service recognizing it as exempt from federal income taxation….”
  • “… organizations must be active and in continuous existence in Tennessee for at least five (5) years or meet all statutory requirements under the Nonprofit Gaming Law.”
  • “An event is restricted to a location within a county where the organization has a physical presence or in a county contiguous to one in which it has a physical presence.”

Social Gambling: Illegal

Some states make an exception in their laws for social gambling, such as poker games between friends or office sports betting pools. Tennessee’s laws contain no such exceptions. As a result, these actions may be considered illegal.

However, the prevailing wisdom is that you can get away with practices like this if you don’t get too carried away with the activity. The state doesn’t want to commit too much in the way of legal or law enforcement resources to go after small technicalities. Here are some suggestions to keep up social gambling without drawing any scrutiny:

  • Don’t take money for hosting some sort of gambling event.
  • Don’t hold the gambling activity in a public place.
  • Keep amounts involved to a minimum.
  • Only involve people who you know and trust.
  • Don’t play games where there is any kind of a house edge.

Advantages of Tennessee Online Gambling

When we’ve profiled the gambling laws of other states, we used this section to highlight the advantages that casino gambling has with online gambling, and vice versa. But as we’ve mentioned, there is no legal in-person casino gambling in Tennessee. That leaves just online gambling.

Luckily, you won’t be missing out on much if you use Tennessee real money online gambling sites to get your action. These sites are convenient and easy to use. And they can offer you the following advantages:

  • You’ll get massive bonuses from Tennessee gambling sites. These sites stay competitive in the rugged online gambling industry through the use of bonuses and promotions. That’s good news for you as a bettor, since it means that you’ll get a big boost to your gambling bottom line.
  • Online gambling sites provide you with outstanding variety. When you go to a casino, you’re basically limited to whatever kind of floor space they might have. But gambling online in Tennessee can go much farther than that, going deep into the categories of casino games and sports bets that they can offer.
  • When you sign up for a Tennessee gambling site with mobile betting, you can take your gambling with you wherever you go. That means you never have to miss out on a bet. As long as you have an internet connection, you’ll be able to make real money wagers.

Gambling Venues in Tennessee

As covered before, Tennessee doesn’t offer a single poker room or casino.
This makes the Volunteer State one of the worst places for a serious gambler to
live.

If you want to play live casino games and/or poker, you’ll have to cross
state lines. Here are a few casinos that are near Tennessee’s borders.

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino

777 Casino Dr,

Cherokee, NC 28719

Hollywood Casino &Hotel

1150 Casino Strip Resort Blvd,

Robinsonville, MS 38664

Resorts Casino Tunica Resorts

1100 Casino Strip Resort Blvd,

Robinsonville, MS 38664

Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall

1477 Casino Strip Resort Blvd,

Robinsonville, MS 38664

What’s Next for Tennessee Gambling

Up to this point, we’ve been looking at the current state of gambling in the state of Tennessee. But what comes next for the Volunteer State on the gambling forefront? Let’s take a look at some of the developments that could be soon taking place.

  • The success of sports gambling could be just the push the state needs to start pulling back on some of its other gambling restrictions. Tennessee became the fastest state out of all those that have legalized sports betting to pass $1 billion in handle. That should serve as an example of what might happen in other betting categories.
  • The state lottery organization, which had been in charge of the administration of sports betting, will take a back seat. Instead, the Tennessee Sports Wagering Council will be taking over. This should be better in the long run for sports gambling in the state, as they’ll be able to put all their focus into the sports gambling market in the state.
  • It’s doubtful that there will be any casinos in the state anytime soon. There just hasn’t been much progress in that regard. But after the success of the online sports market in Tennessee, there could be a push for online casino gambling as a way to raise funds in the state.

Tennessee Gambling FAQ

When Was Gambling Made Legal in Tennessee?

There was gambling all the way back in 1804 in Tennessee, with the advent of horse racing in the state. However, at the beginning of the 20th century, there was a strong anti-gambling push throughout the entire country. That led to a ban on all types of gambling in 1906.

Gambling didn’t really return to the state for the modern era until the advent of the state lottery. The lottery law was passed in 2002, and games were first played in 2004. In 2019, Tennessee made a big step by legalizing sports gambling.

Why Aren’t There Any Casinos in Tennessee?

With the way that Tennessee law works, all types of gambling are illegal unless otherwise specified. Those specifications would come to pass with a new amendment or law. And none have ever been passed to legalize casino gambling for commercial enterprises.

Many states with anti-casino laws have Native American reservations which can operate casinos, because the tribes have sovereignty in those areas. But there are no tribes which have received recognition from Tennessee. As a result, tribal-operated casinos are also an impossibility in the state.

Is It Legal to Gamble Online?

Online gambling and state laws are always a tricky subject, because most of the gambling laws were written far before the internet even existed. As a result, you’ll get different interpretations depending on who you ask. And the state of Tennessee is no different.

There are no provisions which would allow internet gambling in the state. But there is also no language in the penal code that literally bans internet gambling for real money. As a result, the legality of gambling online in Tennessee is a gray area.

Can I Get Arrested for Online Gambling in Tennessee?

As we mentioned in the question above, the first issue here is whether or not online gambling is strictly prohibited by Tennessee law. Let’s just assume that it is and that any form of online gambling for money is technically illegal. That still doesn’t mean that you’ll get into any kind of legal jeopardy if you do it.

First of all, if you use Tennessee gambling sites that operate from offshore locations, you are technically gambling at a site that is operating legally within its jurisdiction. And even if that could be somehow deemed illegal, the likelihood of you being prosecuted by Tennessee officials for it is practically nil. States just don’t have the resources or the desire to chase down internet gamblers for what would be a small fine at best.

Can I Gamble on Sports for Real Money in Tennessee?

The law in 2019 passed by Tennessee brought sports gambling to the state for the first time. You can legally make sports bets at operators who have been licensed by the state. And there are no real restrictions on those bets, as there are in some states (such as no college betting or no bets on in-state teams).

You have the choice then when it comes to online sports gambling in Tennessee. If you choose, you can bet with the sites that have been licensed by the state. Or you can go with offshore sites which also offer up sports betting options.

Can I Play Poker for Real Money in Tennessee?

At the moment, your only possible outlet to play real money poker in Tennessee is to use offshore sites. Casinos are illegal, and there are no poker rooms available in the state. In addition, there is no authorized online casino gambling that might take place with state operators.

The good news is that offshore sites which cater to poker gambling in Tennessee will fit the bill just fine. You can play in tournaments and cash games with all different betting levels available to you. All you have to do is hook up with one of these sites and you can play against other poker enthusiasts at the site.

Can I Gamble on My Phone in Tennessee?

You can indeed make mobile bets in the state of Tennessee. If you choose, you can use one of the site’s authorized sports betting sites to make your sports wagers from whatever portable device that you have. Those sites all have mobile betting capabilities.

Or you can use the gambling sites that we’ve listed throughout this article. These sites will let you play casino games and poker in addition to sports betting. Most of these sites do allows Tennessee residents to make bets of all kinds.

Can I Play Bingo in Tennessee?

Well, you can play bingo informally with friends or family members. As long as you’re playing in a private residence and doing so for small or no states, you can indeed play bingo. But once you start to move beyond those guidelines, you could be breaking state law.

Bingo is not one of the charitable games allowed in the state of Tennessee. It can’t be played as a commercial enterprise, nor can it be put on by a nonprofit organization. Tennessee is one of the few states that extend their anti-gambling laws to bingo.

What Are the Best Tennessee Gambling Sites?

It’s important that you judge Tennessee gambling sites by the characteristics they possess. It’s nice to have sites that offer you the fun stuff, such as a wide variety of games and sports bets, big bonuses, and mobile gambling. But you should also be looking for the ones that do the dirty work, such as efficient payback, banking and customer service, from a website that is simple to use.

If you can find a site (or sites) with these qualities, you’ll have a great gambling experience. We suggest that you choose one of the Tennessee gambling sites at the top of the page for real money wagering.

When Will Tennessee Legalize Online Gambling?

Commercial casinos are the first thing that needs to happen. But the problem
is that Tennessee seems miles away from ever legalizing casinos.

Earlier, we discussed how the Volunteer State will inevitably look at casino
gambling to keep tax dollars in state. But we’re surprised that they haven’t
already begun examining the issue.

Tennessee hasn’t had a single serious legislative effort towards legalizing
brick-and-mortar casinos.

Once this happens, it may take several years for a bill to pass. If
legislation passes, then it’ll take a few more years for casinos to be built.

Looking at everything, Tennessee is at least 8 to 10 years away from
seriously considering online gambling.

Why Does Tennessee Allow Online Casinos?

Tennessee doesn’t allow internet gaming sites – they merely tolerate them.

Few states have taken legal action against offshore gaming companies because
this is a big task.

Most offshore sites are located thousands of miles away in destinations like
Antigua, Costa Rica, Curacao, and Panama. This makes it harder to prosecute
operators than if they were located within the US.

The only states we’ve seen take serious action against offshore gaming sites
include Kentucky, Maryland, and New York.

Out of these, New York had the only successful case (United
States v. Scheinberg
), because it was backed by the US Department of
Justice.

Tennessee doesn’t care enough about offshore operators to risk a difficult
and unsuccessful case.

Why Wasn’t Chris Moneymaker Arrested for Playing Online Poker?

This is an old question that we received a couple times during the height of
the Poker Boom.

As covered before, Tennessee’s criminal code makes it illegal to place
unauthorized bets. Considering that only charitable, lottery, and pari-mutuel
betting are legal, this makes most gambling illegal in Tennessee.

Chris Moneymaker essentially broke the law when he was playing online poker
satellites. Then, after winning the 2003 WSOP Main Event, he became one of the
most famous gamblers in modern history.

If Tennessee wanted to make a high profile example out of somebody, they
could’ve cited Moneymaker. But we believe that there are three reasons why this
didn’t happen:

  • Tennessee has never arrested anybody
    for internet gambling.
  • The state largely ignores iGaming –
    including both operators and players.
  • Arresting Moneymaker would send a bad
    message about personal freedoms.

Above all, we haven’t seen a single state bust somebody for playing online
poker. And it appears that Tennessee didn’t want to set this trend with
Moneymaker.

Can I Gamble on My Smartphone in Tennessee?

You’re not legally allowed, but we highly doubt that you’ll be cited.

Code 39-17-505 (2)(c) states the following:

“Possession of a gambling device or record is a Class B misdemeanor.”

In the busted poker game we discussed before, players were cited for both
illegal gambling and possessing an illegal gambling device.

If chips and cards are viewed as illegal devices, Tennessee would view
smartphones the same way.

But again, the key is that the Volunteer State has never arrested anybody for
internet gambling. And we don’t see them arresting you for playing casino and
poker games on your smartphone, either.

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