Tennessee Debuts with $130 Million Online Sports Betting Handle

Tennessee ended November with a record-breaking online sports betting handle of $131.4 million in its first month. In the US betting history, no state has reached such numbers in their first month, and Tennessee did that with just four operators. The state has a 10 percent hold, which kept the sports betting revenue at $131.2 million, remitting $2.4 million to the state as tax.

It is an impressive feat as states have struggled overtime to reach the $100 million mark following the launch of online sports betting. We could say that it was perfect timing for Tennessee as the NFL was in the thick of things, seeing the Titans fight for an AFC South title.

Tennessee Education Lottery CEO, Rebecca Paul Hargrove, said in a statement that it is still early, and it is difficult to predict what the market could be moving forward. She said, “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. As this new industry in Tennessee evolves, we will continue to work with licensees and registrants in support of a responsible and competitive sports wagering program.”

Outside Help?

The start of the state in the online sports betting market is significant, but it might have gotten outside help. Tennessee is the only state in the region, out of seven border states that have legalized online sports betting. Arkansas and Mississippi both have retail sports betting and will require you to make your way to a land-based sportsbook to make your bet. Tennessee’s true competition will come when online sports betting will launch in Virginia come 2021.

The sports betting report that was released by the state did not provide a lot of information as to how each sportsbook performed. Hence, it is impossible to state which sportsbook is leading the Tennessee sports betting market. However, the report provides information on the handle, payouts, and taxes.

BetMGM, FanDuel Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook, and Action 24/7 are the four operators responsible for gathering the record-breaking handle in November. Four other sportsbooks are waiting to launch in the state. They are:

  • William Hill
  • WynnBET
  • BetAmerica
  • ZenSports

A special meeting was initially scheduled to work on seeing the above-mentioned sportsbook launch before 2021, but that hit a snag. As of now, the special meeting is scheduled for January 6, 2021.

Tennessee Sports Betting Distribution

The state has come up with a sharing formula that will see to the effective distribution of the revenue generated from sports betting. By statute quarterly:

80 percent of the tax revenue will be deposited into the Lottery for Education Account by the state treasurer

15 percent will be deposited into the General Fund by the state treasurer. It is to be remitted quarterly to local governments on a per capita basis

5 percent will go to the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. That body will oversee the grant programs for problem gambling treatment services

It is indeed a great start for the state, and we are all excited to see what will be generated in its second month of operation.


A sports enthusiast, Ryan helps cover sports betting news from around the country, highlighting some of the more interesting events going on in the USA.