Tennessee joined most other states with legal sports betting which saw declining handles and revenues due to lack of sporting activity in April. According to the latest figures released Tuesday by Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL), the state’s sportsbooks posted $172.4 million in April, down 16.3% from March’s $205.9 million.
Despite the controversy surrounding Action 24/7, March could draw the second-highest handle for Tennessee sports betting, which went live its online-only industry on Nov. 1, 2020. The Volunteer State set its highest handle record in January when the state’s sportsbooks generated $211.3 million in handle.
However, April’s handle made Tennessee sports betting a billion-dollar industry, one of the quickest in US history. Since its launch last November, Tennessee sportsbooks have reported to take in $1.08 billion total wagers.
Of the total $172.4 million handled in April, $156.9 million was paid out in prizes, compared to March’s gross payouts of $187.9 million. Tennessee’s sportsbooks reported $14.4 million in adjusted gross income, representing a 12.5% decline from March’s $16.1 million.
Operators paid $2.8 million to the state in privilege tax, 12.5% less than what they gave in March ($3.2 million).
Slowest Month Since November
The $172.4 million wagered in April was the lowest handle Tennessee reported since November. Even February, one of the laziest months of the sporting calendar, was better with $176.3 million.
Tennessee launched sports betting on Nov. 1, with only four sportsbooks, and yet posted the record opening month with $131.4 million. No legal state had ever seen that whopping handle in the first month of the launch. Then, there was no looking back until April.
However, April’s handle decline hardly reflects anything serious. The lower handles during April were reported nationwide after an eventful March Madness-filled month. The Final Four and national title games were only a few remaining college basketball face-offs to take place in April.
Tennessee Becomes A Billion Dollar Market
Since November, Tennessee sports betting has become a billion-dollar market, with a total of $1,077,844,523 worth of sports wagers have been placed until April.
Operators have reported $92 million in revenue so far during this period, and $18.3 million has been collected by the state in taxes. Tennessee is the only state with exclusive digital-only sports betting market.
Only eight states reported more than $100 million in sports betting handle during their first six months. Michigan and New Jersey are the only states to approach the $1 billion thresholds within that period.
The Volunteer State has seven fully functional sportsbooks: FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Tennessee Action 24/7, William Hill, TwinSpires, and the latest entrant WynnBET.
The first four kicked off the market last November.
WynnBET, The Latest to Enter Tennessee
WynnBET did not contribute to the April handle as it went live on the last day of the month. But the company will claim its share of the Tennessee market through the Wynn Resorts mobile app.
Wynn Resorts, the Nevada-based casino and hotel company, had previously announced sports betting agreement with Memphis Grizzlies.
Earlier, William Hill had launched its digital app in Tennessee on March 11, nearly a week before TwinSpires launched on March 19. Both were just in time for March Madness.