Online sports betting in Tennessee went live on November 1st. The first month's results were the largest debut month of any US state with legalized gambling, according to PlayTenn.com.
Amid the craziness of a sports world that included a Masters tournament in November, a weak and fluid college football season, and dramatic drops in TV audience ratings in all sports due to COVID-19, the state of Tennessee handled sports betting worth more than $ 131 million in his first month of legal betting.
"Our first month of sports betting in Tennessee comes at a unique time anywhere in the world, let alone in the sports world," said Rebecca Paul Hargrove, President and CEO of the Tennessee Education Lottery, in a statement that said the online wagering was worth 131,444 .523 USD to be announced.
"The numbers for November are adjusting and suggesting potential. It's only one month in an unpredictable and extraordinary year, which makes it difficult to start extrapolating that single month," she says. "As this new industry evolves in Tennessee, we will continue to work with licensees and registrants to support a responsible and competitive sports betting program."
Tennessee Weather won more than $ 118 million on correct bets, the state's four online partners raised $ 13,224,908, and the state received its 20 percent – $ 2,363,918 – on operator money TN Action 247, BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel.
"We believe there is a great opportunity in Tennessee in terms of betting and economic reach," said Mike Raffensperger, FanDuel's chief marketing officer, prior to the Nov. 1 launch. "That's not just in terms of the excitement or even the increased revenue from the state when you think about the potential for tourism, including off-state bettors watching games and in venues and restaurants."
Taxes collected are paid quarterly, with state funds divided as follows, according to the Tennessee Education Lottery website:
* 80% of the tax levied will be transferred to the State Treasurer for deposit into the Lottery-for-Education account.
* 15% goes to the State Treasurer to receive a deposit into the General Fund that is paid quarterly per capita to local governments.
* 5% goes to the State Treasurer, assigned to the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, to oversee grant programs for the treatment of problem gambling.
The first month of legal betting in Tennessee compared to November 2019 in Indiana, the first month of online betting in that state. This comes from analysis by TNBets.com, a Nashville-based website that covers the betting industry.
Indiana, which has a population similar to Tennessee, had about $ 100 million worth of online betting that month with three online options. A year after launching 2019 online in Indiana, the state had placed bets totaling $ 251.4 million in November 2020.
Tennessee had handled nearly double the betting money in November 2020, as did Iowa, which had wagered more than $ 68 million – and Iowa has legalized betting for more than a year.
Brett Smalley, editor and founder of sports betting magazine Sports Handle, predicts September will peak in Tennessee in September, when the next football seasons begin. He estimates that the handle or amount of bets accepted will approach $ 350 million and that state tax revenues – at 20% of gross gaming revenues – will be around $ 7 million per month.
"I think the biggest story of 2021 will be the sheer growth of the market in 2021 alone – the contest, operator revenue, and related government tax revenue," says Smalley. "It will likely at least double in its first calendar year of 2021, from where it started in November."
The state of legalized sports betting
Along with the District of Columbia, Tennessee is one of 19 states with sports betting. Three other states – North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington – have legalized sports betting but are still in the process of proceeding and awaiting their first bets.
There are three other online partners already – William Hill, WynnBet, and BetAmerica, operated by Churchill Downs – in the application process to join the Interested Player Option Box, and Smalley expects there will be up to ten by early 2021 could be football season.
Those lofty expectations reflect what national analysts have been projecting since the Tennessee legislation was enacted in mid-2019.
"The Oxford study put Tennessee at $ 4.5 billion a year," said legalized sports betting expert Daniel Wallach, referring to the forecasts commissioned by Oxford Economics, a global consulting firm. "Sports betting is expected to generate more than $ 50 million in annual tax revenue for the state."
Wallach founded Wallach Legal LLC, the first law firm in the country dedicated to legalizing sports betting in states across the country. He is co-founder of the University of New Hampshire School of Law's Sports Betting and Integrity Program, the nation's first law school program devoted to the study of sports betting and integrity. He also handles sports games and legal issues for The Athletic.
And he predicted Tennessee's strong start even before the first bet was even made.
"It's such a great sports market," he says. "There's so much passion for college football, the titans are on the move, the grizzlies, there's a lot of interest."
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* Income tax-free Tennessee is expected to woo more retirees and other tax changes in 2021