Tennessee

Sports Betting in Tennessee

You can buy all sorts of fireworks in Tennessee but the gambling regulation is far more restrictive. In fact, Tennessee is one of the worst states in the Southeast when it comes to the gambling freedom of its citizens. Everyone has heard of the horse racing industry in Kentucky. At one point, Tennessee also had a successful horse racing industry but killed it off in 1906 at the behest of fundamentalist religious zealots.

After the demise of horse racing in the state gambling was essentially forbidden in Tennessee for nearly a century. There was a quirky loophole that made payout pinball machines (known as ‘bingo pinball’) legal in the state for years. These were particularly popular in the mountain resort area of Gatlinburg but the state finally outlawed them in 1986.

In 2003, the state launched the Tennessee Lottery which remains the only significant form of gambling in the state. The lottery itself is fairly pedestrian with the usual mix of draw and instant scratch off games. In 2005, the state Attorney General swung the ax at poker tournaments by giving an opinion that they were prohibited under existing gambling law—even if no one made a profit by hosting the games. With the exception of allowing low level charity bingo and raffles in the state that’s the extent of gambling in the Volunteer State. Given the state’s disdain for gambling it’s doubtful that they’ll be getting into the sports betting business anytime soon. The best option for Tennessee residents is to head over the border where neighboring states offer abundant gambling options.

Sports Betting in Memphis

Memphis is a rough town with a higher murder rate than even Detroit. They’ve at least got some options for getting out of town. They’ll need to hit the road if they want to gamble since Tennessee is one of the worst states in the Southeast when it comes to the gambling freedom of its citizens.

In 2003, the state launched the Tennessee Lottery which remains the only significant form of gambling in the state. The lottery itself is fairly pedestrian with the usual mix of draw and instant scratch off games. That’s not much to work with. Given the state’s disdain for gambling it’s doubtful that they’ll be getting into the sports betting business anytime soon. The best option for Memphis residents is to head over the border where neighboring states offer abundant gambling options.

There’s the option of heading North along the Mississippi River and into Missouri. There are two major casinos on this side of the state starting with the Lady Luck Casino in Caruthersville, Missouri which is an hour and a half from Memphis. The Lady Luck is a small but serviceable casino on the shores of the Mississippi River offering a small selection of table games, slots and video poker. There’s another Mississippi River gaming destination is a bit further way from Memphis—the Isle Casino Cape Girardeau which is 2 hours and 35 minutes away but offers more slots and video poker machines (900), more table games and a poker room. Unfortunately for Tennessee residents most of the gambling action in Missouri is on the other side of the state near the Kansas border.

This brings us to a bit of good news for Memphis gamblers. Sure, they may live in what one research study called ‘the worst city in America’ but they’re just 45 minutes away from Tunica, Mississippi and nine casinos. These casinos offer an extensive selection of slot machines, video poker and table games. Some of the casinos have poker rooms and the best news of all, six of the nine properties in town have full service sportsbooks!

Sports Betting in Nashville

Nashville, Tennessee is known as the home of country music but it’s a lot more than that. It’s really one of the most underrated cities in the United States with a great food scene, a top level NHL team in the Nashville Predators and all the amenities of a first class metro area surrounded by nature. The bad news, however, is that Tennessee is one of the worst states in the Southeast when it comes to the gambling freedom of its citizens.

In 2003, the state launched the Tennessee Lottery which remains the only significant form of gambling in the state. The lottery itself is fairly pedestrian with the usual mix of draw and instant scratch off games. That’s not much to work with. Given the state’s disdain for gambling it’s doubtful that they’ll be getting into the sports betting business anytime soon. The best option for Nashville residents is to head over the border where neighboring states offer abundant gambling options.

This is where Nashville at least has it better than other Southern cities such as Atlanta. The closest option is Kentucky Downs, just 40 minutes up Interstate 65 in Franklin, Kentucky. The track has a ridiculously short live racing meet going just five days in September but they’ve got simulcasting and a casino with over 700 historical racing machines. A slightly longer drive (2 hours 20 minutes) gets the Nashville gambler to Evansville, Indiana and the Tropicana Evansville casino. It was the state’s first land based casino and has over 1000 slots and video poker games, table games and a poker room. The Southern Indiana Horseshoe Casino is just a half hour from Evansville with a similar product mix.

There’s also the option of driving two hours West at which point the Nashville bettor will be in Missouri, on Central Time and at the Lady Luck Casino in Caruthersville, Missouri. The Lady Luck is a small but serviceable casino on the shores of the Mississippi River offering a small selection of table games, slots and video poker. There’s another Mississippi River gaming destination roughly the same distance from Nashville—the Isle Casino Cape Girardeau which is 2 hours and 15 minutes away but offers more slots and video poker machines (900), more table games and a poker room. Unfortunately for Nashville residents most of the gambling action in Missouri is on the other side of the state near the Kansas border.

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