Tennessee bill S16 in 2019 set up the framework for online sports betting, though it does not include casino games or online poker sites. Fortunately, some sites work nationally, which offer slots, table games and poker that you can play legally in Tennessee.
These sites use sweepstakes laws, which effectively turn every spin (or hand) into a mini sweepstakes competition.
Sites, including Global Poker, Chumba Casino and LuckyLand Slots, have been growing in popularity since launching in 2016. Once you understand how the platforms work around restrictions on traditional online gambling, you’ll find they are legal, safe and a lot of fun.
Here, you can read the details of how the sweepstakes gambling model works first.
After that, there are some ways to get free currency to play their games.
Next, we cover how to purchase “gold coins” or “gold chips” and then followup with an overview of the game options at active sweepstakes gambling sites.
You would generally associate sweepstakes with promotional draws and giveaways from businesses to promote their brands. Almost all states, including TN, have laws allowing these types of contests.
What the sweepstakes sites have done is they have turned their games (casino and poker) into mini sweepstakes contests. You will not be able to tell the difference, and skill is still a factor with table games and poker.
To legally run sweepstakes contests, no money can be directly exchanged for entering.
In the case of promotions for businesses, you might get a shot at a prize with a purchase, although you can’t be charged for a drawing ticket.
For the sweepstakes casinos and poker sites, they get around the gambling ban on directly accepting money for playing their games using “sweeps coins.”
Sweeps coins is a virtual currency, which the sites give you for free when you purchase gold chips. The gold chips you buy are for fun-play only and have zero redeemable value.
In the meantime, you can use the sweeps coins to play games, plus it does have redeemable value. You can exchange sweeps coins for US dollars.
This sweepstakes simple workaround is in no danger from the gambling restrictions in Tennessee. Changing the sweepstakes laws would affect a lot of major businesses. While this is possible, it is not something that would happen overnight.
The casinos using sweeps laws are US-based and reputable. This means you’d have plenty of time to cash out your winnings in the unlikely event of the business laws changing.
You can get sweeps coins in two ways. Either by buying gold chips (and receive sweeps coins for “free”), or by merely claiming it without a purchase.
Here are the methods to receive free sweepstakes currency:
The most common way to get started is to purchase gold chips. The virtual currency is for social gambling only; you can’t redeem it for cash.
When you buy gold chips, you get an equivalent amount of sweeps coins. Packages are small, ranging between $5-$99.
For your first purchase, you’ll get a boost. The casinos both offer a 100% markup.
For example, at Chumba Casino, when you buy $5 in gold coins for the first time, you get 10 worth of sweeps coins.
You’ll move up levels in the loyalty schemes as you enjoy the slots.
There are extra bonuses to unlock, which get better the higher you climb.
Global Poker adds in some different incentives. These include free-roll tournaments, which new players get to enter. You will be given additional entries for future deposits.
While two of the three sweepstakes gambling sites available in TN are casinos, the games’ list includes mostly slot games.
Chumba Casino has a single blackjack game, a video poker game and a keno game, along with its 50+ slots.
The good news is that these slots compare well with those on regulated casinos in other states. They are colorful, engaging and many have large progressive jackpots, which can give your sweeps coins balance a considerable boost.
If you enjoy slots in live casinos, you will notice that popular games have heavily influenced many titles at sweepstakes casinos. You’ll find games involving buffalo, a certain female ruler from ancient Egypt and many more.
Some of the gameplay elements include expanding wilds, free spins, picks bonus games and wheel spins. All this with attractive animations and (often) on-themed music and special effects.
If these complex new slots are too much for you, then don’t worry. Traditional mechanical three-reel games have also been emulated.
There are already enough slot titles to keep you entertained for repeat visits to either casino. You’ll find brand-new titles are bought online regularly, too. They often come with special promotions to encourage you to check them out.
While you can get sweeps coins completely free via bonuses, social media and promotions, this is a slow way to build your bankroll.
Players looking to take a shot at big money will need to purchase gold chips to get their starting bankroll established.
To do this, you’ll need to know how the cashier system works.
Sweepstakes casinos welcome regular credit and debit cards. You can use these in the same way as you would buy any goods or services online. Visa and Mastercard are both welcome, and these payments should go through the first time.
These casinos used to welcome PayPal; unfortunately, it is no longer an option.
If you don’t want to use your credit card, then the online wallet solutions from WorldPay are the only alternative.
When you want to exchange the sweeps coins you won into dollars, you’ll need to know the following:
The two sweepstakes casinos and one poker room have been online since 2016. There are no reports of issues with payments, delays or problems with withdrawals.
Chumba Casino is the biggest sweepstakes casino — in terms of the number of slots — that is available in Tennessee. Chumba currently offers more than 60 slot titles.
You can access these via your web browser; no special software or apps are necessary to enjoy Chumba’s games.
You can register at Chumba Casino using your email address (includes a verification step) or via your Facebook ID.
New players get 2 free sweeps coins for merely registering, along with up to 2 million gold coins. Note that the gold coins giveaway will change frequently. This bonus gives you a shot at winning without needing to commit your money.
You will also get a boost to your first purchase. You’ll be buying gold coins and getting sweeps coins for free. The first time you purchase gold coins, Chumba will give you 10 sweeps coins for a $5 purchase. After that, the sweeps coins to gold coins is 1:1.
Chumba is the only online casino in Tennessee where you can enjoy blackjack.
Most of the game titles are slots. Here are some titles worth checking out:
Chumba Casino showcases a bright, lively interface. Your bonuses and special offers will be awarded to you by a virtual hostess.
You can track your status toward the next level within the bonus scheme on the top left of your screen along with the colorful slots scrolling across the middle of a giant carousel.
You can check out the slots and claim free sweeps coins at www.ChumbaCasino.com.
LuckyLand is the smaller of the two TN online casinos that use sweepstakes gaming laws. It features 26 slot titles, which are bright, entertaining and high-quality. Many of them have progressive jackpots for gold coin (fun) play and sweeps coins (redeemable) play.
Like Chumba Casino, this site is US-based and licensed by the respected Malta Gaming Authority.
Here is a selection of the best games you’ll find at LuckyLand Slots:
Global Poker is a popular player versus player poker room, which welcomes card fans from all over the country, including Tennessee. You’ll play Texas Hold ’em (and a small amount of Pot-Limit Omaha) in cash game and tournament format.
Like the casinos, Global Poker has a dual currency system. You can play for entertainment with gold chips or for sweeps coins, which you can redeem and withdraw as US dollars.
All the action is via your browser, with no special software to download. As the only legal real-money poker room — outside of a handful of regulated states — Global Poker doesn’t have much incentive to offer big bonuses. It does provide free-to-enter tournaments with sweeps coins prizes for new depositing players.
Action is considered “‘soft” and recreational compared to international online poker rooms. Most of the action is small stakes, and tables with buy-ins of $5-$100 being the busiest.
Global Poker recently started special tournament events, in addition to regularly scheduled games with many guaranteed prize pools.
You can check out the soft action yourself at www.GlobalPoker.com.
While the recent legislation on online sports betting is getting the most attention, other legal gambling options have been available for a few years.
Sweepstakes laws make it possible to offer casino games and poker with specific stipulations. The main one is that you can’t buy-in directly. Running a sweepstakes contest needs to be a free benefit of doing business and, in this case, playing social games with gold coins or gold chips.
Sweepstakes gambling is legal in 49 states, and you can even get your hands on some sweeps coins for free.
If you enjoy slots, then the range on offer at Chumba Casino and LuckyLand Slots are high-quality. These will seem familiar to fans of live casino slots, though are not exact copies.
Global Poker fans can find soft games, which focus on smaller stakes Texas Hold ’em.