About Not Breaking the Law in Tennessee


There are two activities that are illegal in Tennessee but can be practiced in Kentucky, across the state line, only 50 miles away

At various points during the 19th century, gentlemen from Tennessee would travel to the north – to property just across the Kentucky border­­­ – to settle their differences in a pistol duel.

During those times, dueling to resolve arguments or conflicts was illegal in Tennessee, but was a lawful activity in Kentucky. According to historical accounts, famous figures such as Andrew Jackson and Sam Houston were said to have visited the “dueling grounds” site as witnesses to such duels.

It is also illegal in Tennessee to operate bingo halls or any other form of gambling other than games sponsored by the Tennessee Lottery. According to the website Tennessee-Bingo.com, Tennessee bingo was very common in the past. A New York Times article from 1990 said that the state housed approximately 300 different bingo halls.

“They used to have it years ago, and there was a bunch of crooks running it, and maybe that’s the reason they don’t have it here,” Charles said. “They were playing for charitable organizations here. They were supposed to be giving a certain percentage to those organizations, but the bingo halls here were not doing that. That’s why I think they shut them down.”

In Kentucky, the most popular games are regular bingo, featuring multiple cards played; pull-tab bingo, which allows players to win instantly; and electronic bingo.

Most bingo halls play for schools, churches, athletic departments, county fairs, among other charitable organizations. With part of the money that is taken in, a certain percentage goes to those organizations.

But on the same Kentucky “Dueling Grounds”, today we find The Kentucky Downs. Today, Kentucky Downs conducts its live turf racing meet each September on the only “European-style” race course in North America. The meet is staged in an informal festival setting and features the annual running of the Grade III Kentucky Turf Cup race. Additionally, Kentucky Downs offers year-round simulcasting, serves as the site for numerous special and entertainment events and hosts charity bingo for a number of community-based organizations in south central Kentucky.

Kentucky Downs added Instant Racing to its “menu” as the next step in the transformation of what was once the site of “pistols at dawn” to a year-round entertainment destination. http://www.kentuckydowns.com/

Churchill Downs in Louisville KY has just introduced an on-line instant horse race game called Luckity.com see http://www.luckity.com/how-it-works-online-lottery

Do you think we should hold a “Private Bingo Party” at The Cloister Clubhouse?

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One thought on “About Not Breaking the Law in Tennessee

  1. St. Matthew Church has Bingo and lunch once a month for their 55+ crowd now. So I thought it was legal again. They had stopped it for many years previously, and had just started it up again last year or so. We take “white elephants” to use as prizes. What is one person’s junk is another’s treasure.

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