Sports bettors in Tennessee wagered more than $27 million in the first full week of legal online sports betting.
From November 1 through November 8, the gross adjusted income generated from the Volunteer State’s online sportsbooks was more than 2.5 million. According to sports betting regulatory body Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL), the amount of money generated for the state tax coffers was $509 000.
The first full day alone on November 1 saw more than $5 million being wagered with the day falling on an NFL Sunday.
It is an impressive set of numbers and its interesting to see it play out as Tennessee is the only to state to launch so far with exclusive online sports betting.
Sports betting operators such as Tennessee Action 24/7, DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM all began operations on Sunday 1 November, with the sportsbooks legally able to accept wagers from anyone 21 years of age and above, who are physically present in the state of Tennessee at the time their bet is placed.
Sports Betting Laws do not deter Tennessee Sports Bettors
In becoming the 18th state to legalize sports betting, Tennessee has a unique set of rules in place. One of those is a mandatory hold pricing of 10%. In essence, the hold stacks the odds stronger against a bettor in Tennessee. It means that online books in the Volunteer State need to generate at least a 10% hold and cap their payouts to 90%. At the end of the day, it means that sports bettors are effectively required to pay more to operators in Tennessee as compared to other states. However, just one week in and clearly that does not seem to be deterring anyone from wagering on sports.
The revenue generated from the Volunteer State’s strong hold fee is set to be put back into the state services and infrastructure. General appropriations by the general assembly will receive 40% of the sports wagering hold, 30% will be paid to local colleges, and another 30% will be directed towards local government, school systems, and infrastructure projects.
A further 5% goes towards Tennessee state programs for problem gambling treatment programs.
“In our role as the regulator of this industry we are focused on establishing and supporting a responsible and competitive sports wagering program in Tennessee,” TEL President and Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Paul Hargrove said.
“These numbers are encouraging as we work to protect the consumer, promote fairness in sports and regulate this new Tennessee industry that provides critical funds for education, as well as local governments and problem gambling services.” Hargrove explained.
Football Betting the big winner from Day 1
Tennessee’s first day of legalized betting produced as much as $5.1 million in wages with $160 000 in taxes collected and $800 000 in adjusted gross income for sportsbooks. The majority of those bets were placed on football, divided between NFL (60%) and college football (40 %).
All four of Tennessee’s sportsbooks were offering big sign-up incentives for the first week, ranging from an instant match of $500 on first deposit with the Tennessee Titans official gaming partner sportsbook, BetMGM. Meanwhile, DraftKings have been offering a first deposit bonus up to $1000, a first deposit match up to $100 with Tennessee’s own Action 24/7, and a risk-free bet of up to a maximum of $1000 FanDuel.
No numbers have yet been released on each sportsbook’s performance in the Volunteer State, however, BetMGM is expected to do well with their increased visibility as the Titans official betting partner.
Other sportsbooks are expected to go live soon in Tennessee. There are currently an additional three sportsbooks waiting for license approval in Tennessee with BetAmerica, William Hill and WynnBET all waiting for the legal green light to begin operations.