In Shirley v. Slate the Supreme Court of Tennessee had an occasion to pass upon the status of a gambling transaction in Tennessee. In the Shirley case a petition was filed to recover money seized by a sheriff in a crap game. In denying recovery, the court held that the power of the court could not be invoked for recovery of money which the participant had won and which had been seized by the sheriff during a raid and turned over to the county court clerk. Tennessee visits severe consequences on gambling or wagering transactions. By statute it is provided that "all contracts founded, in whole or in part, on a gambling or wagering consideration, shall be void to the extent of such consideration."' To buttress further the policy of discouraging such transactions, another statute provides that "no money, or property of any kind, won by any species or mode of gambling, shall be recovered by action." The final touch to discourage suits to enforce a gambling contract is provided in still a third statutory provision to the effect that "any person who institutes an action for money or property, claimed under a contract founded on a gambling consideration, shall forfeit one hundred dollars, recoverable in any court having cognizance; one-half [of the forfeiture] to him who shall sue therefore, the other half to the county in which action is brought."
Paul J. Hartman,
Contracts -- 1956 Tennessee Survey,
9 Vanderbilt Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/vlr/vol9/iss5/7