Tennessee Sees Slight Dip in Sports Betting Handle
The Tennessee Education Lottery recently announced the November sports betting totals, and it was a disappointing month for the state. Even though the total betting handle was $365.7 million, that was nearly eight million less than the previous record set in October.
With the NFL action still heating up, and the launch of two other professional sports, sportsbooks were hoping to see more activity in November. Several other states in the U.S. set a new sports betting handle record, but that wasn’t the case in the Volunteer State.
The one area that was extremely impressive in Tennessee was the adjusted gross income. The adjusted gross income in November was $29.6 million, a record and an improvement of more than 72 percent from October.
The gross payouts for the month were around $330 million, which was also a lower amount than what was recorded in October. Tennessee has seen plenty of growth in recent months, and a new record could still come in before the end of 2021.
The big jump in the adjusted gross revenue also affected the total tax revenue. That privilege tax was $5.9 million after just $3.4 million in October.
Ten Percent Hold Staying in Tennessee
The mandatory ten percent hold will continue for sportsbooks in Tennessee in 2022 and beyond, even though that was a topic of discussion in November. The biggest reason for keeping this hold is to force larger sportsbooks to keep that percentage instead of operating at a loss.
The national average is around seven percent, but the hold has been ten percent in Tennessee ever since this industry was launched. Sportsbooks that don’t follow the ten percent hold will be subject to much different fines in 2022, and it will be closely monitored moving forward.
Tennessee has been using the sports betting revenue to help fund scholarship opportunities to students in the Volunteer State. Keeping this ten percent hold rate on the books will stay consistent with this mission and bring in more tax revenue for Tennessee.
How Will COVID-19 Affect December?
The December sports betting handle for Tennessee won’t come in until the end of January, and it will be interesting to see what the totals come out to. December is another busy month for professional and college sports, but a factor in play could limit the betting.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep through the United States, forcing the cancellation of several sporting events. The National Hockey League extended its break around the Christmas holiday because many teams were dealing with an outbreak.
The Sports Wagering Advisory Council will officially take over the industry on January 1, but there will be little change to what takes place.
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