(Population 6,495,978 as of 2013)
You won’t find card rooms or casinos in Tennessee; in fact, you’d have to go to nearby Tunica to find those. When it comes to gambling, Tennessee uses the “any chance” formula, meaning they believe betting anything of value on something that involves an element of chance is gambling.
Here’s how it’s put in Section 39-17-501: “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.”
To Tennessee, poker is gambling, and therefore illegal. That being the case, it’s no surprise positive iGaming discussions have not been had in the “Volunteer State.”
Like many of its southern counterparts, Tennessee is extremely conservative when it comes to online gambling. If you recall, Senator Bill Frist was one of architects of 2006’s Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, and it’s also common knowledge that the Tennessee congressional delegation supports a federal online ban on iGaming, with an exception for lotteries.
Don’t count on Tennessee, which was home to famous poker pros [PLAYER="chris-moneymaker"]Chris Moneymaker[/PLAYER] and Puggy Pearson, so be joining the iGaming mix.