2018 Tennessee Code
Title 39 - Criminal Offenses
Chapter 17 - Offenses Against Public Health, Safety and Welfare
Part 5 - Gambling
§ 39-17-506. Lotteries, chain letters and pyramid clubs.

Universal Citation: TN Code § 39-17-506 (2018)
  • (a) A person commits an offense who knowingly makes or aids in the making of any lottery. For the purposes of this section, "makes or aids in the making of any lottery" does not include:

    • (1) Ownership or possession in this state of a lottery ticket originating from another state in which a lottery is lawful, if the ticket is not owned or possessed for the purpose of resale; provided, however, that nothing in this subdivision (a)(1) shall be construed as preventing the sale of lottery tickets or shares under the authority of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation; or the sale of tickets, shares, chances or similar records for an annual event pursuant to title 3, chapter 17, and part 6 of this chapter;

    • (2) The Tennessee Education Lottery operated pursuant to title 4, chapter 51, part 1; or

    • (3) An annual event operated pursuant to title 3, chapter 17, and part 6 of this chapter.

  • (b) For the purposes of this section, "makes or aids in the making of any lottery" includes the organization of, membership in, or solicitation of persons for membership in any chain letter club, pyramid club, or other group organized under any plan whereby anything of value to be given by a member of the club or group is to be given to any other member of the club or group, which plan includes any provision for the increase in membership through a chain process of new members securing other new members and thereby advancing themselves in the group to a position where the members in turn receive things of value from other members.

  • (c) An offense under this section is:

    • (1) A Class C misdemeanor if the aggregate amount of money involved in the lottery, chain letter, or pyramid club is fifty dollars ($50.00) or less;

    • (2) A Class B misdemeanor if the aggregate amount of money involved in the lottery, chain letter, or pyramid club is more than fifty dollars ($50.00) but less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250);

    • (3) A Class A misdemeanor if the aggregate amount of money involved in the lottery, chain letter, or pyramid club is two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or more but less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000); or

    • (4) A Class E felony if the amount of money involved in the lottery, chain letter, or pyramid club is ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more.

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