The U.S state of Tennessee is located in the southeastern region of the country. A landlocked state, it is bordered by Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi to the south, Virginia to the northeast, North Carolina to the east, Kentucky to the north, Missouri to the northwest, and Arkansas to the west.
Nashville is the capital and largest city in Tennessee. With around 680,000 inhabitants within main city limits and more than 1,900,000 when you include surrounding suburbs, it forms the backbone of the state’s economy.
Tennessee is the 36th largest state in the U.S and the 16th most populous (with roughly 7 million inhabitants). A median household income of $52,000 places it in 42nd position amongst other U.S states.
Tennessee, in 1796, became the 16th state to be admitted into the Union, having existed in the Southwest Territory before admission.
The tourism sector is a big cash cow for Tennessee, contributing billions of dollars every year to the state’s economy. In 2014, following a record-setting year for its tourism sector, Tennessee raked in more than $17 billion. Since then, Tennessee has consistently ranked high in the list of the most visited states in the country.
A large cause of Tennessee booming tourism industry is its position as the spiritual home and modern heartland of the country music scene. The Country Music Museum and Hall of Fame are both located in the state. Other tourist attractions such as the Grand Ole Opry, Elvis Presley’s Graceland, and Sun Studio also draw in visitors.
Early History of Gambling in Tennessee
Unfortunately, the early history of legal gambling in the state was pretty short. In 1906, state lawmakers clarified the legal status of gambling in the state for the first time, issuing a state-wide blanket ban on the activity.
Almost a century later, however, a state-wide lottery was made legal via a voter referendum. 2010 also saw the legalization of charity bingo events in the state – however, these were regulated and subject to strict legal guidelines.
Regarding the early history of poker in Tennessee, however, there has never really been a point in time when it was legal in the state. In fact, as part of an effort to create some clarification on the legality of poker in the state, the Tennessee Attorney General’s office, in 2005, stated clearly that poker was banned in all forms in Tennessee.
Current State of Poker and Gambling
Tennessee’s legal stance on gambling is among the toughest of any American state. Basically, the only legal forms of gambling in Tennessee are limited to the state-wide lottery, some horse racing events, and charity gambling events.
The gambling laws in Tennessee, unlike other anti-gaming states, leave little wiggle room for gaming establishments to exploit. Usually, other states that restrict gambling make some exceptions for activities such as social and private gambling activities, but Tennessee makes no such exceptions.
Tennessee has no commercial casinos, no ‘racinos’, no tribal casinos, and no gaming regulatory body to speak of. To boot, its state-wide lottery has brought in so little revenue that it ranks 30th nationwide, and has some of the lowest payout rates in the country.
Taking a deeper look at the few charity gaming options available in Tennessee, only raffles and other raffle-style games are considered legal. State-approved groups, charity organizations, and religious and civil non-profits can host these raffle games, as long as they agree to donate the entire proceeds of these games to fundraising efforts. Strictly speaking, these charitable organizations are not allowed, under any circumstances, to host other kinds of table games, including poker, craps, or roulette.
Online Gambling and Poker in Tennessee
This might just be the only bright spot when it comes to gambling in Tennessee. You see, online gambling is not explicitly stated as illegal in the state.
However, by the state’s definition of gambling, it may seem at first glance that online gambling falls under the purview of the existing laws. Since Tennessee defines gambling as “wagering anything of value for a profit”, it is quite likely logical to assume that gambling, through any medium, is just as illegal.
The state’s lawmakers have yet to definitively clarify the legality of online and web-based gambling. Despite this uncertainty, though, online gambling is quite popular in Tennessee and generally, people located there have nothing to fear placing bets on their favorite platforms. Whilst it could theoretically happen, there have been no law enforcement crackdowns on online gamblers in the state to date. In fact, no Tennessee court has ever brought forward an online gambling case.
However, to be completely safe while betting online in Tennessee, always make sure to use off-shore websites. These are completely outside of regulatory prosecution and as such, allow you to place your bets with peace of mind.
A Few Great Online Poker Options for Bettors In Tennessee
Many of these online platforms offer full-fledged real-cash poker gambling services, with attractive first-user bonuses, frequent promotions, and other incentives. Looking to bet? Visit one of the following websites to get yourself started.
- Americas Cardroom
- Juicy Stakes Poker
- True Poker
- SportsBetting Poker
- Ignition Casino
- 5Dimes Casino
It is really a toss-up determining which is objectively the best poker site for any bettor. One thing that is easier, however, is determining which one is best for you. Look through and compare things like website user interfaces, depositing options and bonuses, and withdrawal times between these sites and go with whichever you think offers the best feature combination.