Tennessee Sports Betting Powers Past $200 Million in Handle

While not quite recording a record sports betting handle in March, the Volunteer State of Tennessee bounced back to reach $205.9 million in wagers for the month. The number represents the second-highest monthly total for Tennessee since it launched online sports betting on November 1 2020.

The March handle result in Tennessee was 16.8% higher than the $176.3 million wagered in the state in February and only a mere 2.6% off the state’s all-time monthly sports betting handle of $211.3 million recorded in January.

Customers record big wins in Tennessee in March

Online sportsbook customers in the Volunteer State won back a total of $187.9 million, an increase of $24.6 million (15.1%) from February’s $163.3 million. The adjusted gross income came in at $16.1 million, a substantial increase of 23.8% from the previous month.

Tax receipts for Tennessee was $3.2 million, also up more than 23% on the February numbers. 80% of the Volunteer State’s tax revenue goes into an education account that predominantly funds postsecondary education scholarships, while 15% goes towards the requirements of local government spending, and the final 5% is used to fund problem gambling treatment programs.

The massive increase on the February numbers are at least due partly to the impact of the second-largest sports betting of the year (after the NFL showpiece, the Super Bowl) , the March Madness college basketball tournament, and of course, that March is a longer month by 3 days.

Unfortunately, Tennessee did not see as much as local March Madness action as it could have. The state’s fifth-seeded University of Tennessee Volunteers suffered a first-round upset loss at the hands of Oregon State. Betting on college sports is fully legal in the state of Tennessee.

During March, the state of Tennessee also welcomed two more online sportsbooks to its line-up, with both TwinSpires and William Hill launching their online sportsbook services during the month.

Tennessee’s Great March Comes despite controversy

Making the good result for the Volunteer State’s online sportsbooks all the more impressive, it came at a time of upheaval for the nascent Tennessee online sports wagering industry. The state’s sports betting regulator, the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation (TELC) was forced into suspending one of its online sportsbooks, Action 24/7, due to a number of betting irregularities and possible incidences of fraud in this February’s Super Bowl betting. TEL suspended the Action 24/7 online betting license in March to investigate the matter fully.

Despite a court ruling reinstating the Action 24/7 license and the online sportsbook reboot operations following the fraud allegations, TELC sought to initiate yet another hearing into the issue to check that the online sportsbook operator is now fully compliant. However, the judge on the case was quick to rule that “TELC can’t have a redo” and Action 24/7 has remained in action ever since.

Unfortunately, there is no way to check if the suspension has cost Action 24/7 any business or its position as Number 4 in the Tennessee online sports wagering market. TELC discloses very few specifics when it comes to the Volunteer State’s sports betting figures as there is no breakdown of handle and revenue by operator, nor by sport.

However, what we do know is that Tennessee online sportsbooks have enjoyed more than $905.3 million in legal sports wagers since the state’s first four operators (Action 24/7, FanDuel, BetMGM and DraftKings) went live on November 1 2020, and 3 more operators have since joined them. The TELC March Handle and Revenue Report also nudged the reported cumulative U.S. sports betting handle of the post-PASPA era dating back to June 2018 to more than $50 billion nationwide.

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