Tennessee betting handle and revenue drop in July

Tennessee’s legal sportsbooks saw revenue and handle fall in the month of July.

According to the latest figures from the Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL), sports betting handle fell to $144.5m in July.

July’s handle was down 17.2% from the $174.5m wagered in June and also marks the lowest figure since $131.4m was wagered on sports last November when the market went live.

Sportsbooks in the state paid out $129.4m in winnings in July.

Tennessee’s sports betting revenue was also down in July, with sportsbooks generating $13.4m in sports betting revenue. Sports betting revenue was down from $16.1m posted in June.

Of the total revenue generated in July, operators paid a combined $2.6m in privilege tax to the state.

Tennessee’s betting market followed a similar downward trend to other sports betting states in July. Thanks to a lack of professional sporting events to bet on and a quiet sporting calendar, US bettors have had fewer interesting sports betting options.

Unlike other states, the TEL report does not break down performance across sports markets or individual operators.

More operators to enter the market

More operators are expected to launch in Tennessee just in time for the start of football season.

On Tuesday next week, the TEL’s sports wagering committee will hold a meeting to consider applications for two sportsbook operators and one supplier. Earlier this month, the TEL notified three operators that their application reviews were complete.

While the Sports Wagering Advisory Council transitions to the role of regulator for sports betting in Tennessee, the TEL is responsible for overseeing the approval of operator licenses.

One of these operators could be Penn National Gaming’s Barstool Sportsbook. Penn expects to launch the product in five states before the start of the NFL season.

At the time of writing, Barstool Sportsbook is available in Colorado, New Jersey, and Virginia. The sportsbook is also expected to go live in Arizona on 9 September for the start of the NFL season.

Aside from the operators being considered next week, the TEL is also working through applications for four sports betting operators and five suppliers.

Sports betting in Tennessee

Online and mobile sports wagering became legal in the state of Tennessee in July 2019 after Governor Bill Lee allowed a sports betting bill to pass into law without his signature.

The bill was the first of its kind in the US as it made Tennessee the first state to launch online and mobile sports betting without the need for a land-based market.

Tennessee essentially became the first US state with an online-only sports betting market.

After a lengthy rule-making process the Tennessee Education Lottery issued its first temporary sportsbook licenses in September 2020. Sportsbook operators were then given the green light to launch on 1 November 2020.

At the time of writing, DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, William Hill, WynnBet, TwinSpires, and the local Action 24/7 are the only active sportsbooks in the state