The TN Lottery licensed eight online sports betting apps in Tennessee, giving bettors access to some of the best legal operators in the US. Additional options are on the way as well.
It seemed like a remote possibility in early 2020 in a state that’s been historically conservative about legal gambling, and no one could blame you for giving up. In fact, Tennessee doesn’t have any brick-and-mortar casinos. The only way someone could play legal casino games in the state is at a promotional sweepstakes site, a social casino like Pulsz Casino, where players can win and redeem cash prizes by playing slots and other casino-style games.
Tennessee sports betting is also online-only, with no retail sportsbook locations for in-person betting.
Thankfully, Governor Bill Lee returned a landmark sports betting bill without a signature in 2020. Under state law, the governor’s failure to sign allowed the bill to become law. The first legal online sports betting apps launched in Tennessee on November 1, 2020.
Legal Online Gaming Options In Tennessee
|Type Of Online Gambling||Legal In Tennessee?|
|Online Sports Betting||Yes - Sports betting launched November 1, 2020.|
|Online Horse Race Betting||Yes - Permitted via licensed and regulated sites.|
|Daily Fantasy Sports||Yes - Play daily fantasy via apps like DraftKings DFS and FanDuel DFS.|
|Promotional Sweepstakes Casinos or Social Casinos||Yes - Legally available to Tennessee players via Pulsz Casino|
|Promotional Sweepstakes Poker Sites||Yes - Legally available to Tennessee players via Global Poker|
|Online Casino||No - Real-money online casinos are illegal in Tennessee.|
|Online Lottery||No, not online - All lottery purchases must be made at a licensed retail outlet.|
Tennessee Online Sports Betting
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Tennessee became the first state to launch online-only sports betting. Virginia followed suit in January 2021, but those remain the only two offering online sportsbooks unassociated with brick-and-mortar casinos. And Virginia plans to build a few casinos, so Tennessee will soon stand alone as the sole state with online-only sports betting.
But who’s complaining? Online sportsbooks are growing in popularity across the US because of their unbeatable convenience and accessibility. For example, if you want to bet on a specific game, you don’t have to coordinate travel to a land-based property in time to place your wager before or during the game.
Tennessee bettors also love online sportsbooks because they allow 24/7 access to sports betting. So whether you’re a fan of international soccer leagues or local football teams, you can place bets on your phone while on the go.
Any form of online betting was bound to be a success in a state with an NFL, NHL, and NBA team, plus a big NCAA sports fanbase. And online-only is preferred over retail-only; just ask New Yorkers.
Check out our Guide To Online Sports Betting In Tennessee.
Rules & Regulations
Tennessee has already placed some specific regulations on sports betting for when it eventually launches in the state. For example, bettors must be within state lines, which will be verified by geolocation technology. Also, players need to be at least 21 years of age.
Some further rules for Tennessee online gambling will bar certain people from participating in sports betting to lower the risk of corruption. The following groups will be unable to bet on sports in Tennessee:
- Professional/college athletes and coaches
- An employee of the Tennessee Lottery (who oversees sports betting in the state)
- Anyone who can directly impact the outcome of a sporting contest or match
- An employee of any sports team or league’s governing body
- Board members, owners, partners, and officers of a license-provider, license holder, or professional sports team.
The state has a few other stipulations surrounding college betting. No prop bets on in-play wagers will be available on college matches. Tennessee bettors will have to stick to professional sports for those wagers.
Tennessee Online Gambling Status
Tennessee historically offered very little in terms of online gambling. However, with the rapid growth of sports betting across the US and the continuing adoption of other online gaming forms in various states, new options are opening up to Tennessee online gamblers.
Here’s an overview of other legal online gambling options in Tennessee beyond sports betting. Also included are those that are not yet legal but could come to the state in the future.
Daily Fantasy Sports
In 2016, Tennessee became the third US state (after Virginia and Indiana) to officially authorize Daily Fantasy Sports. DFS enjoys a solid presence in The Volunteer State. Currently, there are seven operators licensed to run DFS contests in Tennessee:
- SportsHub Technologies, Inc.
- Two Nine Gaming, Inc.
- Underdog Sports, Inc.
Daily Fantasy Sports is available to anyone over the age of 18 in Tennessee. DFS players on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings can log into sportsbooks from those operators now that sports betting is live in Tennessee.
Tennessee Online Horse Race Betting
Tennessee state law neither prohibits nor allows online horse race betting directly. In fact, the state has gone back and forth, legislatively speaking, on whether to allow race tracks and accompanying wagers in the state. The advent of sports betting could spurn more legal action. As of now, though, horse racing in Tennessee remains in limbo.
However, some operators offer online options to Tennessee bettors looking to wager on races worldwide.
Tennessee hosts no race tracks within its borders, so many horse racing enthusiasts turn to the online space.
Sites like TVG, NYRA Bets, and TwinSpires are some of the best online horse race betting destinations. All three (and a few others) can be found in Tennessee. These sites support races from all over the US and beyond. Even though Tennessee is devoid of horse racing (except for the annual Iroquois Steeplechase in Nashville), racing fans can still enjoy placing wagers online anytime.
See our comprehensive Guide To Online Horse Racing In Tennessee.
Tennessee Online Casinos
Although legal online casino gambling for real money is illegal in the state, there are some other options for legal gaming in Tennessee. These legal gaming options allow Tennessee bettors to play slots and table games online for cash prizes.
Players in Tennessee have access to online social gaming at some of the top promotional sweepstakes casinos like Pulsz Casino.
Social Casinos and Sweepstakes Casino Sites
In the absence of a legal online casino presence, Tennessee players may encounter promotional sweepstakes casino sites, better known as social casinos.
These sites offer a variety of online casino-style games, primarily slots, but also keno, blackjack, video poker, roulette, and more. Players can purchase in-game currency (which costs real money) called “Sweeps Coins” or “SC”, “premium points,” or something similar. Those credits can be used to play casino-style games and won credits can be exchanged for cash prizes.
There are a number of sign-up offers you can get legally at Tennessee social casinos, such as:
- Sign up at Pulsz and get a bonus 2.3 FREE SC On Signup + 200% extra GC and 50% extra SC bonus with first purchase
- Sign up at Chumba and get 2,000,000 FREE GC + 2 FREE Sweeps Coins, and get a $30 value GC offer for only $10, which is worth 10,000,000 GC + FREE 30 SC
- Sign up at Luckyland Slots and get 10 FREE SC as a gift and 7,777 FREE GC + $10 GC offer for $4.99: 50,000 GC + 10 SC.
- Sign up with Global Poker using bonus code: FLUSH to get 150,000 Gold Coins for $10, plus get 30 FREE Sweeps Coins.
- Sign up at Funzpoints Casino for free credits worth $2.50 in Funzpoints on signup, plus a 100% purchase match up to $20 Funzpoints on first deposit.
Promotional Sweepstakes Poker
Promotional Sweepstakes poker sites, more commonly known as social poker sites, use the same model as their promotional sweepstakes casino counterparts. Global Poker is the most popular social poker site.
The idea is the same: players can purchase coins to use in poker games, and each purchase also gives the player a small amount of bonus cash prizes. Mail-in offers also allow players to redeem FREE Sweeps Coins.
Like similar social casino sites, social promotional sweeps poker can be an excellent alternative to full-fledged online poker rooms.
Online Casino And Poker In Tennessee
Real-money online casinos are illegal in Tennessee alongside online poker.
The two often go hand-in-hand when legislation is drafted. But currently, Tennessee shows no signs of intent to legalize either online poker rooms or casinos. On the contrary, the state remains opposed to online gambling in these forms.
Notably, online sports betting can often pave the way for new regulations surrounding online casinos and poker rooms. If Tennessee is successful in its online-only sports betting push, lawmakers could become more amenable to other forms of online gaming.
Read More: Best Online Casinos for US Players
Tennessee has strict rules in place concerning lottery sales. Players cannot purchase tickets online.
Instead, lottery players in Tennessee are required to purchase tickets and draw games at a licensed retailer. Further, you can only purchase lottery tickets with cash. No debit or credit purchases are permitted.
The Tennessee Lottery does have a mobile app, though it is purely informational. It can help you find a licensed retailer. But you’ll have to visit in person to purchase any lottery products.
The state and its legislators have given no indication that online lottery sales are a prospect for the future.
Tennessee’s Online Gambling History
Online gambling in The Volunteer State has a short history that has grown busier in recent years. Tennessee’s story begins at the federal level, then picks up in 2016 and beyond with significant developments.
Online Gaming On A Federal Level
To put it mildly, the US federal government has been wishy-washy regarding online gambling legislation. For example, under the Federal Wire Act of 1961, the government prohibited all forms of online gaming.
2011 brought hope for reversing that stance when the US Department of Justice indicated that the Wire Act applied only to sports betting. But, unfortunately, that declaration wasn’t the end of it.
In the years following, various administrations and organizations reversed and re-reversed the decision so many times it’s become a bit of a mess to track. In 2018, the Justice Department under the Trump administration retracted the 2011 opinion, and the Wire Act went back to covering all forms of online gambling.
After, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Justice Department are caught in a tug-of-war regarding The Wire Act, and nobody is quite sure which side will come out on top. Bottom line: the federal stance on online gaming is confusing, and it’s likely to stay that way as the government fights internally over what The Wire Act covers.
However, this back-and-forth has little impact on Tennessee because the state still bars online gaming in its own laws. Any legitimate federal reversal would need to be followed by state-specific laws before online gaming could reasonably become a reality in Tennessee.
Tennessee’s Sports Betting Push
Tennessee gave its first indication that it would welcome sports betting in 2016 when it became the third state to officially authorize Daily Fantasy Sports. Of course, DFS legalization isn’t always a harbinger of regulated online sports betting, but a combination of federal shifts and Tennessee laws made that the case for The Volunteer State.
In 2018, the US Supreme Court ruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) unconstitutional. This left the decision to legalize sports betting to individual states. Many, including Tennessee, have already acted to regulate and launch online sportsbooks.
In 2019, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee allowed the state’s sports betting bill to become law without his signature. The Tennessee Lottery will oversee sports betting under the bill. The state launched online sports betting on November 1, 2020.
For now, Tennessee seems laser-focused on sports betting. State lawmakers have given no indication that they intend to legalize other forms of online gambling like casinos or poker rooms. In addition to sports, Tennessee players have access to online casinos in the form of promotional sweepstakes casinos and poker sites.
Live Gambling In Tennessee
Tennessee is a bit of an oddball compared to other states with a gambling presence. With no land-based casinos, sportsbooks, or race tracks, the state has embraced online sports betting without any brick-and-mortar properties.
Rather than move to build properties or allow casino/race track operators to expand into the state, Tennessee effectively jumped ahead by regulating online sportsbooks. This could mean a great variety for players because online operators won’t need to spend time negotiating partnerships with land-based casino owners before they can launch.
Tennessee Gambling Quick Facts
|Is lottery legal in Tennessee?||Yes, but you cannot purchase tickets online. Retail-only|
|Does Tennessee have racetracks?||No|
|Does Tennessee have casinos?||No|
|What is Tennessee’s minimum gambling age?||21 (18 for lottery and Daily Fantasy Sports)|
|Who regulates gambling?||The Tennessee Lottery|
|How can I gamble in Tennessee?||Online sportsbooks, lottery tickets, Daily Fantasy Sports, online horse race betting, sweepstakes casinos and poker sites|
Casino Options For Tennessee Gamblers
Tennessee’s conservative stance on gambling looks like it will hold for the foreseeable future, at least concerning land-based gaming. Even if the state chose to allow gambling, it would be years before a casino could be licensed, built, and opened within state lines.
Tennessee may have no land-based casinos, but fortunately, several neighboring states have properties that are easily accessible to Tennessee residents willing to travel a short distance. Here’s a rundown of land-based casinos close to Tennessee:
|Sam’s Town Casino Resort||Tunica||MS|
|Gold Strike Casino Resort||Tunica||MS|
|Fitz Casino Hotel||Tunica||MS|
|Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort||Cherokee||NC|
|Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel||Murphy||NC|
|Kentucky Downs Racetrack||Franklin||KY|
Tennessee Lottery Overview
The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation runs the Tennessee Lottery. Players can enjoy a variety of instant tickets and draw games for a chance at big prizes.
Tennessee’s lottery games can only be purchased in person at a licensed and authorized retailer. For more information on any of the games below, you can head to the Tennessee lottery games page.
The Tennessee lottery offers a large portfolio of instant lottery games. They range in price from $1 to $30, and many feature prizes up to $1 million.
Tennessee Powerball And Mega Millions
These games draw twice weekly, and winners get a piece of a huge jackpot, usually exceeding $100 million.
This twice-weekly draw game has a prize that regularly reaches more than a few million dollars.
Cash 4 Life
There’s a winner every night in this game. The top prize? $1,000 a day for life.
Win hundreds of thousands of dollars in this game that draws on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Keno To Go
Keno To Go has a drawing every five minutes with a top prize of $100,000. The game is a bit more complex than other draw games, so take a look at the how to play page before you get started.
Cash 3 And Cash 4
Cash 3 and Cash 4 feature top prizes of $500 and $5,000, respectively. They offer morning and evening drawings almost every day of the week for maximum chances to win.
Horse Racing In Tennessee
Though it has no race tracks within state borders, Tennessee racing enthusiasts can still wager on horse races.
For those willing to travel, the Kentucky Downs race track in Franklin, Kentucky, is the nearest physical race track. Otherwise, online betting is available via TVG, TwinSpires, BetAmerica, and other providers.
There have been some attempts to revive the racing industry in Tennessee, but progress is stalled. As of now, there’s no clear-cut answer as to whether Tennessee will bring physical horse races to the state any time soon.
More Information On Tennessee Gambling
- Tennessee Lottery Homepage
- Tennessee Secretary of State Fantasy Sports Hub
- Daily News Tennessee Sports Betting Overview
- Tennessee Lottery’s Useful Sports Betting Documents
- FindLaw’s Tennessee Gambling Overview
Tennessee Gambling FAQ
No. Fortunately, it’s impossible to break this law because there are no casinos or even race tracks in Tennessee. The state does not allow any brick-and-mortar gambling institutions.
Tennessee gambling enthusiasts will need to travel to a nearby state like Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Mississippi, or North Carolina to find a land-based casino.
Yes. Online sportsbooks launched on November 1. The state currently offers nine different platforms, including DraftKings and BetMGM.
Tennessee is a unique state in that it allows online sports betting operators to launch in the state without being tethered to a land-based casino. Sportsbooks will be online-only.
No, you do not need to be a Tennessee resident to participate in sports betting in the state. Anyone within state lines (verified by geolocation technology) and over the age of 21 will be able to place a wager. When you sign up for an account, you will confirm your identity and your age with your social security number.
21. Anyone over the age of 21 and within state lines will be able to place a wager at an online sportsbook in Tennessee.
Anyone over 18 can play Tennessee Lottery games, bet on horses online, and participate in Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) contests.
No. Tennessee gambling law is very broad and prohibits casino gaming across the board. This includes online casinos. However, you can legally play at sweepstakes casinos like Pulsz, where players can exchange won credits for cash prizes.
There will likely be a large number of providers. DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM are confirmed license-holders in Tennessee and launched on the first day of betting. Since then, other big-name operators like Caesars and a few others launched online sportsbooks in Tennessee.
Yes. Online sportsbooks care about their customers and offer high-level encryption on par with practices used by banks and online shopping retailers.
Online sportsbooks are also regulated by The Tennessee Lottery, which will put rules in place to keep your information safe and secure with any operator who offers sports betting.
Yes, Tennessee bettors can bet via iOS app, Android app, or web browser. Most online sportsbooks offer all three options. You can find the apps by searching in the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android), or by using the direct links on the sportsbook’s website.
Yes, as long as you bet responsibly. There’s no law against joining multiple online sportsbooks, and there are two big benefits. One, you can compare the odds and place the bets with the biggest profit margins. Two, you can take advantage of multiple welcome bonus offers, such as the 20% deposit match up to $1,000 at DraftKings and bonus bet up to $1,500 at BetMGM.