Tennessee is a horse country, but the state has a quirky relationship with the sport of horse racing where betting is involved. Local horse racing tracks are not allowed to accept parimutuel wagering, which is why there are still scandals about illegal races being held somewhere.
Despite the absence of live parimutuel racing, Tennesseans can place online bets on races from other states via many providers of advance-deposit wagering (ADW). That includes three of the four biggest operators – TwinSpires.com; NYRABets.com and Xpressbet.com – and several smaller outfits like AmWager.com and DRFBets.com.
These sites offer a variety of signup bonuses and reward-for-play incentives, as well as a range of ancillary handicapping products, so it pays to shop around before deciding on a service.
You must be 21 to place online horse bets in Tennessee.
Tennessee Horse Race Betting Sites & Offers
|Racebooks||Welcome Offer for Tennessee||Other Promos|
|Nyra Bets||$200 deposit match||Odds boosters, daily offers|
|TwinSpires||$200 sign-up offer||Free play daily & weekly options|
|Xpressbet||$100 sign-up bonus||XB Rewards loyalty program|
|1/ST BET||$100 sign-up bonus||Rewards points every Tuesday and other weekly offers|
|AmWager||$300 deposit match||Daily cash rewards|
|FanDuel Racing||Get 100% bonus up to $50 + get a $10 Sportsbook credit||10% bonus on win bets|
|DRF||Get a $200 bonus on the first deposit||Earn up to $50 every week|
|WatchandWager.com||Bonus up to $25||The weekly 3-2-1 Bonus, no maximum payouts on cashback|
How to claim a horse racing bet promo in Tennessee?
Horse racing betting features for Tennessee
- Nyra Bets Tennessee Features:
- Free live video streaming (HD live and replay) on Thoroughbred, Harness, and Quarter horse racing and race replays nationwide
- Free handicapping tips
- Swap positions quickly for Exacta, Tri & Supers
- Weekly live money handicapping contests with cash prizes
- TwinSpires Tennessee Features:
- First Race Freeplay: get $100 in Free Bets
- 15% boost on a winning Trifecta bet every Tuesday
- Exacta insurance: get a bet back of up to $10
- Live races and highlights of previous races, both on the website and the app
- Bet Back offers (receive a refund for your bet if the horse you bet on to win the race finishes in second or third)
- Daily Double bets
- Xpressbet Tennessee Features:
- Horse racing’s leading loyalty program (receive two XB Rewards Points for every dollar you wager)
- Cash prizes in regular handicapping contests
- Deposit by mail
- Bet the horse races over the phone
- AmWager Tennessee Features:
- Current and historical horse race results from a single screen
- Advanced wagering structuring tools. Dutching, ABC method, Rank betting.
- Fair Value Exacta Grid (allows you to quickly see exacta bets that have been over bet or under bet based on the win pool)
- FanDuel Tennessee Features:
- Cash in with Win Bet insurance
- Live streaming (+200 tracks around the world)
- Best bets of the day
- DRF Tennessee Features:
- Unlimited DRF Classic and Formulator Past Performances
- Free Beyer Speed Figures
- Free DRF expert picks
- 1/ST Bet Tennessee Features:
- Up-to-date news about upcoming races
- Unlimited access to the BETMIX products: Toteboarding, Free Daily Race Analysis, and “Race of the Day” Past Performance
- Watch and Wager Tennessee Features:
- Horse Racing Contests Daily for free
- Refer-a-Friend Bonus
Horse bet types available online
In Tennessee, you can place different types of horse wagers. The most popular online bets are
- Win (the horse you bet on must come first)
- Place (the horse must finish first or second)
- Show (the horse must come either first, second, or third)
- Win Place (places a win and a place bet in one bet)
- Win Show (places a win and a show bet in one bet)
- Win Place Show (aka “across the board”; combines Win, Place, and Show into one bet)
- Exacta (you bet on horses to come first and second in that order)
- Quinella (the same as exacta, but horses can finish in any order for you to win the bet)
- Trifecta (three horses should finish first, second and third in that order)
- Superfecta (the same as trifecta but here you bet on four horses)
- Super High 5 (you have to choose the winner of five races in a row)
- Grand Slam (pick a horse to finish in the top three in three straight races, capped by the winner of the fourth race in the sequence)
- Parlays (combine multiple selections on the same ticket, even if the races aren’t in sequential order).
- Credit and Debit Cards
- ACH Bank Transfer / eCheck
- Wire Transfer
- Green Dot
- Check or Money Order
- By mail: Xpressbet
- Bitcoin: AmWager via BitPay
Tennessee Horse Betting Overview
The Volunteer State for many years maintained some of the strictest anti-gambling laws in the nation before opening the gates slightly in 2019 by approving sports betting.
But it also has a long history of racing in various forms and to this day ranks as having the sixth-largest horse industry in the nation, with more than 3 million acres used for horse raising or horse-related activities.
“The first official horse race in Tennessee was held in Gallatin in 1804. The sport became wildly popular and by 1839 there were at least 10 established race tracks in the state and over 20 organized jockey clubs,” according to the Plaid Horse, a hunter-jumper-oriented publication.
Everything changed in 1905 when the state banned wagering on horse races. Without its cut of the handle, the sport struggled and vanished, except for the Iroquois Steeplechase in Nashville, a one-day non-wagering event put on by a nonprofit group in May.
Instead, the state’s many horsemen and horsewomen generally pursue their equine passions through breeding or performing in dressage shows, hunter-jumper competitions, or contests for so-called gaited horses, such as the high-stepping Tennessee walking horse.
The absence of betting on horse races in the state would be completely understandable were it not for the fact that the Tennessee Legislature in 1987 reversed the ban on parimutuel wagering to allow it at “licensed facilities.” Since then, there have been several attempts to build tracks in the state, but all the proposals were either voted down in local referendums or blocked in court, according to the Tennessean newspaper.
Fun fact about horse racing in Tennessee
Not all Tennesseans adhere strictly to the “licensed facilities” language in the state law on horse racing. The Thoroughbred Daily News reported in 2019 that non-sanctioned quarter-horse match races were occurring at Carril de Memphis, an “outlaw” track west of Memphis. It said the races, where betting presumably occurs, were openly advertised on Facebook.
Popular horse racing events to bet on in Tennessee
- The Kentucky Derby
- Belmont Stakes
- Preakness Stakes
- Breeders’ Cup
- Royal Ascot
- Cheltenham Festival
- Travers Stakes
- Santa Anita Handicap
- Arkansas Derby
- Pacific Classic Stakes
- Haskell Invitational
- Dubai World Cup
- Melbourne Cup
- Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
- Grand National
Horse Race Tracks in Tennessee
- Iroquois Steeplechase in Nashville
The non-profit Iroquois Steeplechase in Nashville runs a one-day, non-betting meet at Percy Warner Park each May.
Unfortunately, no. The minimum gambling age in Tennessee for playing online and at any of the state’s racetracks is 21.
Yes, Tennessee allows horse racing betting online and through mobile apps. There are no racetracks or off-track betting facilities.
No, TVG Horse Racing no longer operates in the state.
The point is there are no racetracks or off-track betting facilities, so you have to bet online.