Tennessee Sports Betting Surpasses Expectations in First MonthPublished December 31, 2020 by Elana K
Tennessee sports betting generated $131.4 million in handle and $13.2 million in revenue in November, the highest first month of any U.S. state.
Tennessee sports betting launched in November 2020 and a few days ago the Tennessee Education Lottery reported $131.4 million in handle and $13.2 million in revenue, the highest first month of any U.S. state. The previous record was set by Indiana in September 2019 with a handle of just $35.2 million. It took New Jersey four months to overtake the $130 million mark and it took Pennsylvania 11 months.
From Tennessee sports betting revenue, $2.4 million went to the state in taxes.
There are two possible contributing factors to the state’s resounding success in its first month. The first is that sports betting kicked off in the midst of football season, the most popular betting sport in the U.S. The second is Tennessee’s mobile platform. In states that offer both in-person and mobile betting, mobile betting accounts for the majority of revenue, which is one reason why Tennessee did so well in its first month.
Tennessee's Unique Sports Betting Industry
Tennessee is a bit of an anomaly in the world of U.S. sports betting. For starters, it offers only mobile bettering without in-person betting. Second, regulators require operators to hold at least 10% of the money accepted in wagers, which means that bettors can only receive maximum payouts of 90%. This is about 5% less than the industry average. Finally, the Tennessee Education Lottery doesn’t report information on individual operators in terms of handle and revenue. It also doesn’t release details about how much was bet on each sport. It’s yet to be seen if this is the way the Lottery will process information regularly or if this was just a first-month omission.
Sports Betting Potential
Tennessee currently has four sportsbooks operating online, and there are four more that are trying to launch early in 2021. As these sportsbooks jump into the fray, it seems that this is just the beginning of a very profitable sports betting industry.