Tennessee March Sports Betting Handle up 17%
Tennessee sports betting handle increased by 17% in March.
There have been numerous issues surrounding sports betting in Tennessee recently. However, despite this, the Volunteer State posted a nearly 17% increase in March sports betting handle. The total Tennessee sports betting handle last month was $205.9 million, an increase of $29.6 million (16.8%) from the $176.3 million posted in February. The amount recorded in March fell just short of the current record for the state, which is $211.3 million set in January. The official figures were released last week.
The state’s gross payouts came in at $187.9 million, up $24.6 million (15.1%) from February’s $163.3 million. There was a significant increase in the adjusted gross income from February to March, with the total last month coming in at $16.1 million, an increase of 23.8%. Additionally, Tennessee’s privilege tax was $3.2 million, an increase of 23.1% from February’s $2.6 million.
The increases can be attributed to March being a longer month, meaning more days to bet, the March Madness tournament, and two more operators launching in the state, TwinSpires and William Hill. TwinSpires went live on March 19, while William Hill launched its online sports betting platform on March 11. Both operators ensured their online sportsbooks were up and running in time for March Madness.
Tennessee launched its sports betting market on November 1, becoming the country’s first mobile-only sports betting market. Four operators went live on the first day, including DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, and Action 24/7, based in Nashville.
Sports Betting Problems in Tennessee
In another first for Tennessee, the state became the first location to suspend a sportsbook. Acton 24/7 was handed a suspension by the Tennessee Lottery on March 18; however, the local sports betting company took legal action and sued to have it overturned.
A court ruling by Chancellor Patricia Head Moskal in late March lifted the suspension. Since that ruling, the court has stated that the lottery board could not hold a new hearing regarding the alleged incidents involving Action 24/7.
Also, in March, William Hill was accused of running a prop bet which goes against the state sports betting regulations. The lottery revealed it was following a process to investigate this alleged violation. Due to the unwanted attention, William Hill removed the bet.
Danielle Boyd, vice president of sports gaming operations, decided to step down at the end of March. She became the second executive to resign from the same role in a short period of time. Although Tennessee enjoyed healthy numbers in March, the industry has not seen a smooth beginning to life, and legislators will be hoping for easier times ahead.
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