Memphis, Tennessee, USA at Hernando de Soto Bridge

Tennessee betting handle drops to $160.9m in May

Tennessee’s sports betting market performance continued to decline in May.

According to the latest figures from the Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL) sportsbooks in the state processed $160.9m in wagers in May.

May’s handle was down 6.7% from the $172.4m wagered on sports in April. This makes May the month with the lowest betting spend since the market went live in November 2020. 

In the first month of legal betting in Tennessee, bettors wagered a total of $131.4m on sports.

Bettors in the state won back $145.5m from the bookies, leaving operators in the state with $13.7m in adjusted gross income. May’s sports adjusted gross income was down from the $14.4m reported in April.

Sportsbooks in the state also paid $2.7m in privilege taxes to the state in May, down from $2.8m in April.

The TEL report did not provide individual data for each sportsbook operator in the state. 

Sports betting in Tennessee

In May 2019, Tennessee legalised sports betting after Governor Bill Lee allowed legislation to pass into law without his signature, despite being opposed to the expansion of gambling.

The Tennessee sports betting market was the first in the US to limit sports betting to online and mobile devices.

Tennessee’s sports betting market launched on 1 November with DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Tennessee Action24/7.

Since then several other operators have entered the market including WynnBet and William Hill.

TEL provides a financial update

Last week, the TEL also provided an update on its financial performance for the fiscal year.

In its announcement, the state lottery revealed it has passed $2bn in total annual revenue for the 2021 fiscal ending as of 15 June. According to the announcement, this is the first time the Lottery has hit this milestone.

The financial year began on 1 July 2020, where the Lottery recorded its best first-quarter results of all time with $498.2m in revenue for the three-month period. Of this, $114m was allocated to the Lottery for Education Account.

Then in the third quarter of the financial year, the Lottery transferred a record $140.3m to the Lottery for Education Account.

Lottery’s president and chief executive, Rebecca Paul Hargrove said: “This has been quite the year in many ways, but our mission remains the same: to raise funds for the designated education programs we fund.

“This is a great day for students across Tennessee, and we look forward to announcing our fiscal year totals in mid-July.”

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