Tennessee legal online sports betting has roared out of the blocks and has become an outstanding success since it first went live on 1 November 2020. Until the end of January 2021, the Volunteer State had already taken $130.8 million in betting handle, while $118.2 million had been paid back to the state’s bettors as winnings.
Figures released last week by the state’s sports betting regulatory authority, the Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL), for January 2021 showed that the state’s leading online sportsbooks – DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM locked in a virtual dead heat for market share leadership in the Volunteer State.
BetMGM was the surprise packet in January 2021. After recording $37.8 million (3rd place) in November 2020 and lifting its handle to $57.9 million in December 2020 but still remaining in 3rd place behind DraftKings and FanDuel, BetMGM passed them both in the first completed month of 2021.
The January results saw Bet MGM in 1st place reporting $71.385 million in betting handle, closely followed by FanDuel in 2nd position in Tennessee for January with $69.48 million and DraftKings in a virtual tie with $69.04 million of betting handle. Whilst far behind the others, Tennessee’s own Action 24/7 network also recording its best month to date, taking in more than $1.4 million in wagers.
The state of Tennessee itself was also a big winner, recording almost $10 million in tax revenue ($9.74 million) to dramatically assist the state’s bottom line in the tough economic times.
BetMGM vow to become U.S. Market Leader
BetMGM is looking to turn its great market position in the Volunteer State into national market dominance. Officials from America’s current 3rd-placed online sportsbook have their sights on catching and eventually overtaking both FanDuel and DraftKings in terms of market share, however, there are realistic on how 2021 will pan out.
Chief Executive Officer of BetMGM, Rob Wood remarked recently that FanDuel has pretty much “sewn up in 2021” based on the results already received nationwide in the calendar year-to-date. When questioned if remaining in 3rd place would satisfy BetMGM, Wood said;
“Definitely not, no. We always set out to be a leader with ambitions of getting to No. 1 in due course, but there is no doubt that FanDuel has comfortably got No. 1 sewn up for a while. If you look at the latest numbers, we’re really not that far behind DraftKings once you take out their DFS business, so we absolutely have No. 2 set in our sights,” Wood explained optimistically.
Perhaps as they give away less free bets than FanDuel or DraftKings in Tennessee, or they more actively promote parlay wagers (see the BetMGM bonus page for details) BetMGM already occupy the #1 position in terms of revenue percentage.
What’s Next For Tennessee?
More online sportsbooks are heading the way of Tennesse soon. TELC has already green lighted the licenses of Churchill Downs’ Twinspires, whilst William Hill and WynnBET are now both cleared for launch too. The official date for launch for the 3 sportsbooks has yet to be made known, although hopes are that it could be in time for iconic NCAAB March Madness tournament, or worst case in time for Golf’s U.S. Masters at Augusta.
However, it seems that TELC know what they are doing and are more concerned with getting the sports wagering industry built on a solid foundation before building too quickly. TELC investigators recently announced that there were 74 cases of wagering irregularities on the Super Bowl leading to the permanent banning of sports betting to those customers involved.
It’s refreshing to see the regulators concerned about player security in Tennessee. Long may it continue.