Tennessee Sets New Sports Betting Record
Tennessee officially launched sports betting on Nov. 1, and the state enjoyed the strongest start in sports betting history.
Total sports betting handle totaled $131.4 million for the first month, which was much larger than the previous record for any state’s first month.
The Tennessee Education Lottery has been providing updates throughout the month of November, but the official total was just released this week. The record-setting start during the first weekend got Tennessee off to a huge start, but sportsbooks continued to do well throughout the entire month.
Even though Tennessee was able to have the best first month on record, the numbers are still well behind some of the other top markets in the US. Sportsbooks were expected to perform well in Tennessee, but no one could predict just how well sports bettors in the Volunteer State would respond.
The Tennessee Education Lottery does not provide reports for each individual sportsbook, so it is unclear which operator has emerged as the early leader. The state also has a locally owned sportsbook, Action247, competing with some of the biggest names in sports betting, including DraftKings and BetRivers.
Revenue came in at right around $13.2 million for the month of November, and the state was able to generate nearly $2.5 million in tax revenue. The Tennessee Education Lottery requires a 10 percent hold, and it’s unclear if the sportsbooks were able to meet that requirement.
Sportsbooks that fail to reach the 10 percent hold threshold are subject to some heavy fines, but it’s unclear if those punishments will be handed down. The Tennessee Education Lottery is thrilled with the sports betting start, and the entire state is hoping that it leads to more success in the future.
Not only did Tennessee set a new industry record, but it is also the first online-only sports betting market in the United States. There are no commercial Tennessee casino properties in the state of Tennessee, and allowing online sports betting helped get the industry up and running quicker.
The Tennessee Education Lottery also gave itself the best chance of having a huge first month by allowing all five online operators to launch on Nov. 1. Other states have launched sportsbooks on a rolling basis, but Tennessee allowed any operator that was ready to launch.
Launching during the middle of the NFL and college football seasons was another smart move by the Tennessee Education Lottery. Now it’s up to the state to continue to put up large numbers in hoping to become a force in the US. It can’t be underestimated how important sportsbook apps have been in establishing TN as a betting force in the states.
Education Account Sees Most Tax Dollars
The Lottery for Education Account will receive 80 percent of the tax revenue collected from the Tennessee sports betting industry. Lawmakers wanted education to receive a majority of the revenue as a way to gain support for the industry.
The General Fund will receive 15 percent of the tax revenue, and that money will be sent to local governments across the state. The remaining five percent will be used for the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
This organization will help create new programs to help people with gambling problems and addiction.
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