Tennessee Race Tracks: Where to Bet on Horse Races in TN

Learn about Tennessee's race tracks and legal horse race betting options

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Although pari mutuel horse wagering is legal in the state, you won’t find a single Tennessee race track to place your bets in person. Furthermore, there are no simulcast facilities either, leaving bettors in a bit of a conundrum when it comes to in-person betting in the Volunteer State. As gambling laws in the US differ, let’s explore the legality of Tennessee horse racing betting a bit further and your options for enjoying the pastime.

Most Popular Tennessee Race Tracks

Despite Tennessee’s deep equestrian roots, the state currently has no horse betting facilities, leaving bettors with the task of finding alternatives. Fortunately, you have the option of visiting neighboring states like Kentucky to get your fill of live horse races. In this section, we’ll be providing reviews of the best Kentucky horse race tracks, to help you plan your next race day..

Kentucky Downs

Address: 5629 Nashville Road, Franklin, KY 42134
Phone: 270-586-7778

Kentucky Downs offers a great experience for Tennessee horse racing enthusiasts like you. This racetrack, which is one of the biggest horse racing tracks in the US, offers harness, standardbred, and thoroughbred betting on its all-turf track. 

Kentucky Downs

There’s a wealth of betting services available for both live and simulcast wagering, with bet types including Win, Show, Place, Pick 5, Quinella, and Superfecta. Simulcasting broadcasts races from around the country, meaning you can watch and wager on horse races seven days a week, with 50 widescreen TVs for your viewing pleasure.

Beyond racing, Kentucky Downs offers a gaming area, several bars for dining and drinks, and the Gaming Hall, which features over 1,000 gaming machines with jackpots ranging from $600 to a staggering $780,000.

Turfway Park

Address: 7500 Turfway Road, Florence, KY 41042
Phone: 859-371-0200

As you step into the sports area at Turfway Park, you’ll be greeted by big-screen TVs, including a massive 300-square-foot video board. The live racing, beginning every November, is a spectacle to behold. You can place your bets from Wednesday to Sunday each week, with options like Place, Show, Win, Exacta, and more.

Turfway Park

If hunger strikes, you have two great dining options from Churchill’s Bourbon & Brew and Serena’s Pizzeria. The live music and local bands add a vibrant touch to the atmosphere. So if you’re a horse racing enthusiast or just looking for a fun night out, Turfway Park caters to everyone.

Churchill Downs

Address: 700 Central Avenue, Louisville, KY 40208
Phone: 502-636-4400

Churchill Downs has a seating capacity of 165,000 and flexible betting choices, including Place, Show, Win, Exacta, and more, that cater to both seasoned bettors and beginners. The admission fee is just $5 for adults, and children under 12 can enjoy the races for free.

Churchill Downs

Beyond the races, the on-site museum offers a fascinating journey through the history of Churchill Downs, open daily. The guided tours and year-round events provide a unique, immersive experience.

Popular Horse Races in Tennessee with Dates

If you’re a Tennessee horse racing enthusiast, you should know that there are no active horse racing tracks in Tennessee, meaning all horse races are held out of state. But don’t worry, you can still experience races at simulcasting locations, which broadcast races live from other states. Here’s a selection of annual horse races held in nearby states like Kentucky that you can enjoy right from Tennessee.

Horse RacesRacing DatesHow to Bet
Dubai World CupMarchOff-track
Cheltenham Gold CupMarchOff-track
Grand NationalAprilOff-track
Kentucky DerbyMayOff-track
Preakness StakesMayOff-track
Belmont StakesJuneOff-track
Breeders CupNovemberOff-track
Melbourne CupNovemberOff-track

Legal Horse Racing Betting in Tennessee

If you’re interested in Tennessee horse racing betting, it’s important to know that pari mutuel wagering is the only legal form of horse racing betting in the state. However, due to the lack of Tennessee race tracks, you’ll need to visit neighboring states to enjoy the live racing and simulcast locations.

There, you can explore a variety of betting types such as Show, Place, Win, Quinella, Super Hi-5, Trifecta, Exacta, Daily Double, Superfecta, and many more. Not only can you bet on different types of horses including quarter horses, standardbred, and thoroughbreds, but you can also enjoy a variety of races such as quarter horse racing, thoroughbred, harness, and Arabian.

Other Types of Gambling in Tennessee

Discover even more about Tennessee gambling laws and other forms of gambling in the state:

Tennessee Horse Racing: A Brief History

Back in 1987, the Racing Control Act was approved to oversee Tennessee horse racing and pari mutuel betting, leading to the establishment of the Tennessee State Racing Commission. Despite this, no Tennessee race tracks were ever built and the Commission was disbanded just a year later in 1988.

PASPA had a significant impact on the Tennessee horse racing industry, as it did on many states, by limiting sports betting. However, Tennessee repealed the Racing Control Act in 2015, leaving the dormant industry unregulated.

Over the years, lawmakers have considered bringing horse racing back to the state, but these discussions have never materialized into concrete action. Today, while pari mutuel wagering remains legal in Tennessee, the absence of live race tracks means you would need to visit other states to participate in this sport.

Tennessee Gambling FAQ

Is horse racing betting legal in Tennessee?

Yes, Tennessee racing betting is technically legal in the state. However, there are no Tennessee race tracks where you could place a bet. While pari mutuel wagering is permitted, the absence of live racing venues means you would need to visit other states to participate. So, while it’s legal on paper, the practicality of horse racing betting in Tennessee is quite limited.

Can I place bets on other states’ horse races?

Yes, off-track betting is legal and available locally in Tennessee. If you’re willing to travel, you can visit simulcast locations in other states where live races are broadcast and bets are accepted. Another option for you is to bet online through licensed and regulated horse racing betting sites. This allows you to place bets on races happening across the country from the comfort of your own home.

What horse race track in Tennessee is the biggest?

Actually, no horse race tracks in Tennessee currently exist. Despite the state technically allowing pari mutuel wagering, there are no venues to place such bets. Therefore, there are no horse race tracks in the state, let alone the largest.

Is online horse racing betting legal in Tennessee?

Yes, you can wager online for horse races in Tennessee. Horse racing betting sites and online racebooks are legal in the state and are widely available. You can place your bets on these platforms from the comfort of your own home, making it easy and convenient to engage in horse race betting. Just make sure that you gamble responsibly.

Where can I bet on Tennessee horse racing?

While there are no horse racing events held in Tennessee, you still have the opportunity to bet on horse races. The only way to do this within the state is through licensed online horse betting sites. These platforms allow you to wager on horse races happening in other states or even internationally, all from the comfort of your own home.

What is the legal age for betting on horses in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, the minimum age required to wager on horse races is 21 years old. As such, you must be 21 years old or over to bet on all horse racing events, even through licensed online betting sites in the state.

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