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Tennessee sports betting revenue is off to one of the hottest starts of any state to date.

Reports from January 2021 pushed Tennessee’s gross sports betting revenue to $49 million and wagers to $523 million since its November 2020 launch. This nearly doubles Indiana’s $274 million, which was the previous record for a market’s first three months. Virginia has since surpassed this figure, but Tennessee continues to post impressive figures.

We’re following this explosive market closely to keep you informed with the most important details and provide analysis of monthly revenue reports as we follow Tennessee online sports betting developments. Read on for a closer look at the business of sports betting in the Volunteer State.

Latest Tennessee Revenue News

First, here’s a quick recap of what we learned from Tennessee’s most recent sports betting revenue reports.

July 2021 – Tennessee reports a betting handle of $145 million for July, a slower month for the US sports betting industry.

June 2021 – Tennessee betting handle and revenue rise to $174 million and $16 million, respectively, in June. Both are increases from May totals. Halfway through 2021, The Volunteer State has taken in over $1.1 billion in sports wagers. With NFL and college football still to come this fall, expect betting volume to be even higher in the second half of the year.

May 2021 – Tennessee reports a betting handle of $160 million in May, its second-lowest month since launch in November 2020. Sportsbooks generated adjusted gross revenue of almost $14 million, bringing the market total to over $105 million in just seven months.

April 2021 – Tennessee reports $172 million in sports wagers for April, a dip of approximately 16 percent from the previous month. Still, it becomes the fastest state to reach $1 billion in lifetime sports betting handle, a feat accomplished in its sixth month. However, Virginia is almost certain to surpass this mark when it releases its April and May reports.

Notably, sportsbooks collectively have not met Tennessee’s regulatory requirement of a 10 percent minimum hold for the third straight month.

March 2021 – Tennessee’s hold percentage is again below the state’s regulatory requirement of 10 percent. Sportsbooks kept 7.82 percent of the $205,900,000 wagered in March.

February 2021 – Tennessee reports a dip in betting handle ($176 million) in its fourth month. Interestingly, sportsbooks fell short of the statewide minimum hold requirement. Tennessee sportsbooks kept 7.37 percent of the handle in February, which is good news for bettors but below the regulatory standard of 10 percent.

January 2021 – In its third month, Tennessee continues its impressive start by becoming the fastest state to record more than $200 million in a month. It was the seventh state to reach the $200 million mark. Furthermore, a statewide 10 percent hold requirement kicked in and was met with relative ease.

Month-By-Month Sports Betting Revenue Data:

We’re keeping track of Tennessee’s monthly sports betting financial figures from the first legal bets in November 2020 to date.

The table below shows Tennessee’s sports betting handle, gross gaming revenue, and hold percentage, as well as state tax revenue collected each month since legalization.

Here’s what each number represents:

  • Handle refers to the total amount wagered on sports.
  • Revenue reflects the adjusted gross gaming revenue kept by sportsbooks after paying out winning bets.
  • Hold percentage shows how much revenue sportsbooks kept as a function of the betting handle.
  • State tax revenue displays taxes collected by the state and local jurisdictions.
Month/Year Total Handle Revenue Hold Percentage State Tax Revenue
November 2020 $131,444,523 $13,244,908 10.08% $2,363,918
December 2020 $180,900,000 $13,900,000 7.68% $3,080,000
January 2021 $211,300,000 $21,800,000 10.32% $4,300,000
February 2021 $176,300,000 $13,000,000 7.37% $2,600,000
March 2021 $205,900,000 $16,100,000 7.82% $3,200,000
April 2021 $172,400,000 $14,400,000 8.35% $2,800,000
May 2021 $160,900,000 $13,700,000 8.51% $2,700,000
June 2021 $174,500,000 $16,100,000 9.23% $3,200,000
July 2021 $144,500,000 $13,400,000 9.27% $2,600,000
Total (since launch) $1,558,144,523
$135,644,908 8.71% $26,843,918

This table will be updated with the data released by the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation. Unfortunately, it appears the numbers provided are not completely accurate, as they are rounded to the nearest $100,000.

Tennessee Market Overview

To understand the sports betting market in Tennessee, here’s some essential information to keep in mind.

State Population (2020 Census): 6,910,840

In-state Pro Teams: Tennessee Titans (NFL), Memphis Grizzlies (NBA), Nashville Predators (NHL)

Launch Date: November 1, 2020

Biggest Monthly Handle: $211,300,000 (January 2021)

Regulator: Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation

Platforms: Online only

Tax Rate: 20 percent

Revenue Insights

Tennessee was the first state to legalize sports betting before allowing other forms of gambling. There are no casinos or racetracks in the state, so the current legislation authorizing sports wagering requires an online-only market. Furthermore, it imposes expensive regulatory fees at tax rates on operators.

Bettors and sportsbooks in the Volunteer State may pay a premium for the safety and convenience of online betting. Still, thus far, the excessive regulation and lukewarm attitudes towards gambling do not appear to be holding the industry back.

Here are a couple of themes we’ve seen in the early days of legal Tennessee sports wagering.

Surpassing Expectations

Tennessee got off to a surprisingly strong start, with its online-only market producing incredible early results.

The Volunteer State is the only state to take in over $100 in wagers in its first month. At the time, it was the fastest to reach the $200 million handle mark, a feat it accomplished in its third month. The $523,644,523 in wagers placed through the first three months is nearly doubled that of the next best three-month total (Indiana – $274 million) until Virginia came along in 2021.

Here’s how Tennessee’s three-month total handle compares to that of other top US sports betting markets outside of Nevada.

  • Virginia – $628,741,115
  • Tennessee – $523,644,523
  • Indiana – $274,189,721
  • New Jersey – $152,725,904
  • Colorado – $122,942,331
  • Pennsylvania – $49,599,516

Few would have predicted Tennessee’s (then) record-setting pace as historically, it’s not a state that has embraced gambling. It’s safe to say the industry is doing better than anyone expected so far.

Headwinds on the Horizon?

Tennessee will see its first real competition in the South in 2021 with the launch of online sports betting in neighboring Virginia. After three months of nearly perfect market conditions, Tennessee’s numbers plateaued somewhat as Virginia and others got up and running.

That said, Tennessee appears ready for the challenge. The Volunteer State authorized legal sports betting pools ahead of March Madness. The Tennessee Lottery has stated its intention to be innovative and recognizes that adding pools could be a significant revenue generator in a state obsessed with college sports. Even the fact that TN allows betting on in-state college sports may go a long way towards fending off future competition from Southern states.

Keep an eye on Tennessee

Tennessee is enjoying an impressive start to its sports wagering operations. With a 20 percent tax rate, the state government is reaping the rewards of legalization and its unique online-only market.

Can the Volunteer State keep up the pace, or will sports bettors grow frustrated with unfavorable odds that may result from the 10 percent hold requirement? What effect will the launch of sports betting in additional neighboring states have?

Sports Betting Dime lists sportsbooks currently offering sports betting in Tennessee. We’ll keep you up to date with the latest promos, updates, and other details to get the most out of betting on sports and your favorite team. As online betting is limited to select states and sportsbooks, be sure to check out other states offering online sports betting if needed to find a sportsbook in another state.

You can also explore our state-by-state sports betting revenue tracker to see how TN compares to other markets across America.

Have fun and enjoy the action out there!

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A lifelong athlete and sports fan who’s worked in sports for over ten years, Natalie brings a firsthand perspective and keen interest in sports business to her work. She’s excited to observe and analyze the future of the sports betting industry as it heats up.