Tennessee Sports Bettors Wager $131 Million

Bettors wagered $131.4 million and sportsbooks paid out $118.2 million in the first month of legalized online-only sports betting, according to the Tennessee Education Lottery, which oversees the new industry.

Sportsbooks paid $2.4 million in taxes, with 80 percent, or $1.9 million, directed to state education programs. Legislative analysts said Tennessee sports betting could yield $50 million in annual tax revenue. Governor Bill Lee let sports betting legislation become law without signing it in spring 2019.

However, Tennessee Lottery Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Hargrove cautioned, “November’s figures include adjustments and indicate potential. It is only one month in an unpredictable and extraordinary year, making it difficult to begin extrapolating out from this single month.”

Still, Tina Hodges, president of Tennessee Action 24/7, the only operating sportsbook based in the state, said, “We are far exceeding our expectations. For us, we have been growing every single day, sometimes doubling registrations from the day before. So our dollar bets are getting larger, our registrations are getting larger and every day we’re beating the day before. Americans love sports they love to play games of risk, they love gambling so I think that Tennessee we’re just at the tip of the iceberg.” Hodges credited the National Football League’s Tennessee Titans with much of sports betting’s success. “Tennessee bettors are fired up about the Titans. NFL Sundays are the biggest betting days for us,” she said.

To date, Tennessee Action 24/7, FanDuel, BetMGM and DraftKings have been approved to operate online sportsbooks in Tennessee.

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