Tennessee sports betting handle hits $131m in first full month

Tennessee’s sports betting market is off to a strong start after posting the highest first-month handle of any US state with legal betting.

According to figures from the Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL) bettors in the state of Tennessee wagered $131.4m on sports in November, the first full month of legal betting in Tennessee.

The state’s four legal sportsbook operators managed to generate a combined revenue of $13.2m, leaving $2.4m in taxes revenue for the state.

The best first-month figures of any US state

Tennessee’s first-month figures are the best first-month figures of any US state to have launched sports betting since the fall of PASPA. That’s doubly impressive when considering that most US states with online or mobile take time to ramp up operations following launch.

However, Tennessee had the advantage of launching its market in the middle of the NFL season which almost certainly helped the market.

In the TEL’s announcement, the TEL CEO Rebecca Paul Hargrove, showed caution when predicting the future of the market.

Hargrove said: “Our first month of sports wagering in Tennessee comes at a unique time in the world, let alone the sports world.

“November’s figures include adjustments and indicate potential. It is only one month in an unpredictable and extraordinary year, making it difficult to begin extrapolating out from this single month. As this new industry in Tennessee evolves, we will continue to work with licensees and registrants in support of a responsible and competitive sports wagering program.”

No specific data for operators

It is unclear how each of the state’s four operators performed in November as the state report did not include specific data, instead it only included handle, payout, and tax revenue.

This means it is not yet possible to determine who is the early market leader in the state.

Sports betting in Tennessee

In late May 2019, Tennessee became the fourth state to legalize sports betting. Governor Bill Lee allowed the state’s sports betting bill to pass into law without his signature, despite being opposed to the expansion of gambling.

The Tennessee sports betting market is so far the only US state 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.

Three sports betting operators including WynnBet, William Hill and BetAmerica, are currently waiting for their Tennessee betting licenses to be approved.

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