Online Wagering in Tennessee Has Skyrocketed over the Course of the Year
It took over a year to launch online sports betting in the state of Tennessee. The Sports Wagering Advisory Council made one of its most important decisions to date last week as it takes over as TN sports betting regulator and the SWAC also hired Mary Beth as the executive director, pending background checks. Even with a very slow last couple of months as bettors are jumping back in, the Tennessee sports betting industry is poised to have a very good year.
Tennessee’s Successful First-Year Launch
As the year comes to an end, Tennessee approaches its first full year of offering sports betting within its borders. The state reached the billion-dollar wager mark the quickest out of any other state that is also involved in the sports industry. Only eight other states have reached the $100 million mark in the first six months of operation.
This is quite impressive as the state only offers online wagering and has yet to consider retail locations. Not having retail operators has helped the state reach the billion-dollar mark quickly as a mobile device is easily accessible across the state. New Jersey was the closest to reach the market in its six months of operation, reaching $928 million in that span.
According to a report from the Tennessee Education Lottery, bettors in the state of Tennessee have placed a combined total of $1.7 billion. It has generated $156.6 million in sportsbook revenue and $2.8 million in taxes.
With those current numbers in quarter four, Tennessee is expected to finish its first year with the fourth-highest numbers in the country just behind New Jersey, Illinois, and Colorado. This is an impressive accomplishment as it may just set the stage for even greater success as the new year is just months away.
The Sports Betting Market in Tennessee Continues to Grow
The state is home to eight reputable sportsbooks as DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, WynnBet, Barstool Sportsbook, TwinSpires, and Action 24/7 have licenses to operate in the state. According to PlayTenn.com analyst Nicole Russo,
“Tennessee is only beginning to scratch the surface of its potential,…ts roster of operators is growing, and its online-forward design is appealing. Better transparency in the market’s regulation would go a long way in moving the market forward. And removing the state’s 10% hold requirement on operators would help, too, even as it looks like the rule might be here to stay.”
The state nearly quadrupled the record for highest handle in its first month, Tennessee brought in $131 million from wagers in November 2020. In 2019, Indiana held the previous record with $35.2 million in its first month.
Tennessee hasn’t had a month where the numbers of wagers placed generated less than $144 million in wagers placed. In January 2021, it was the state’s peak as 211.3 million in wagers were placed which $20.9 million in revenue generated, as the Nashville Post reported.
The taxes paid by the operators goes a long way as 80 percent goes to the Tennessee Education Lottery funds. 15 percent of it goes to the local government and it will use the money for infrastructure projects. The remaining five percent goes to state-funded gambling addiction programs organized by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.