Tennessee Posts $180M in Sports Betting Handle in December

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Tennessee has posted a record-setting sports betting handle of $180.9 million in December, the second month since its launch. According to the Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL), the Volunteer State’s impressive performance continues since it became the first US state to launch its online-only sports betting industry on November 1, 2020. The opening month brought a considerable total of $131.4 million, and December’s figures are up by 37%.

With these figures, Tennessee becomes the only state with the best two-month debuts in the US sports betting history. The Volunteer State’s second month of wagering swelled considerably, thanks to pro football in action, the first jump ball of NBA season taking place, and college sports gearing up.

Further Details

Tennessee sports betting launched on November 1, and the books concluded the first month with $131,444,523 in total bets. The December handle represented 37. 6% increase in handle month-on-month.

Unlike most other states with the legal industry, Tennessee does not release a breakdown by sportsbook operators. However, of the total handle for the month ($181 million), players took home nearly $167 million, and the state accumulated a $3 million privilege tax as the Volunteer State levies a 20% tax on a sports betting operator’s adjusted gross income. With the hold rate of 7.7% for December, sportsbook revenue was over $13 million.

More Records in Just Two Months

In the first two months, Tennessee posted over $312 million in sports bets, shattering launch records. Before Tennessee’s $312 million, Indiana held the record for the best second month in the regulated US market thanks to the $91.7 million it generated in October 2019. However, The Hoosier State’s record over its first two months combined totaled to only $126.9 million, which Tennessee has now more than doubled.

Several factors have contributed to Tennessee sports betting’s dream launch. First, the online-only betting with no in-person registration requirement has ensured easy access to Tennessee bettors. Secondly, none of the Volunteer State’s neighbors authorized digital sports betting during its first two months. For those looking to place online bets, heading towards Tennessee is one of the easier options. Lastly, the Tennessee sports betting went live in the middle of NFL fever, with Tennessee Titans off to an exciting start.

The Future of Tennessee Sports Betting

Earlier this month on January 6, the state’s regulatory authority, the Tennessee Education Lottery, approved the state’s fifth operator. Churchill Downs’ sportsbook, BetAmerica, which will be renamed TwinSpires, will soon be available to Tennessee bettors. According to meeting details, the Lottery plans to launch the new sportsbook in time for the Super Bowl on February 7.

With the biggest betting event in the calendar year in the US is just around the corner, Tennessee sports betting seems to show an upward trend. However, TEL CEO Rebecca Hargrove suggested the sports betting revenue would continue to witness a fluid shift from month to month. Though the first two-month estimates mirror a highly optimistic projection for the Tennessee market, suggesting the first-year handle of around $1.872 billion, it is too early to predict a market in an embryonic stage.

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