With only four sportsbooks operating in Tennessee during November, the state had the best first month of sports betting of any U.S. state. The Volunteer State saw $131.4 million in bets for November, and the revenue hit $13.2 million.
Tennessee launched sports betting at the right time. It came in the middle of football season, which is the most popular sport to be in the U.S. The state also has mobile sports betting available, making it easier to create accounts and place bets instead of in-person.
“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,” said Tennessee Education Lottery CEO Rebecca Paul Hargrove. The TEL CEO is happy with the first month’s numbers and understands that one month does not paint the full picture of what the Tennessee sports betting industry will look like.
Doing Sports Betting Differently
There are a few things Tennessee does differently when it comes to sports betting. The first is that Tennessee only has online betting available in the state. It was the first state to do this as everywhere else had in-person betting first or launch in-person and online betting at the same time.
This helped Tennessee in the first month. Instead of placing bets in-person, Tennesseans could create accounts from home and start betting the first launch date.
The Tennessee Education Lottery gives little information outside of betting handle, revenue, and taxes to the sports betting reports. This does not help get information about FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and Tennessee Action 24/7 about how the sportsbooks are competing.
It also gives no information on what sports Tennessee is betting on or how much is being bet on each sport. This does hurt the state for experts to understand how it is truly doing. Not having this information public could hurt the state in the future.
It is only one month, however. The state could always gain access to this information and release it during the monthly revenue reports. This will be something to watch in the coming months if the Tennessee Education Lottery publishes more data on the betting revenue reports.
Tennessee Betting Expansion
The Volunteer State currently has four sportsbooks operating, with four more looking to launch in early 2021. BetAmerica, William Hill, WynnBET, and ZenSports are looking to launch in Tennessee in the coming months. The goal was to get the sportsbooks to launch before 2021, but the next TEL meeting is not until January 6.
Adding more sportsbooks is definitely going to help the state continue to grow in the coming months. With over $131 million bet in the first month, and more sportsbooks potentially joining the mix, Tennessee could see exponential growth in the first year of sports betting.
It will be no surprise if Tennessee hits the $200 million mark in December. The state had the largest first month handle of any state, showing how promising Tennessee sports betting will be. Now, it just needs to create more detailed sports betting reports.