Tennessee’s First-Week Sports Bets Total $27.4 Million
When Tennessee sports betting went live November 1, wagerers bet $5.1 million with revenue of $800,000 after adjustments, generating $160,000 for the state. In the first seven days of sports wagering, handle was $27.4 million with revenue of $2.5 million and $509,000 for the state, which directs most of that money to the Tennessee Education Lottery.
Mobile-only sports betting went live in Tennessee on November 1 and on that day bettors wagered $5.1 million with revenue of $800,000 after adjustments, including the state’s controversial 10 percent fixed payout rate. The state received $160,000 from its 20 percent gross revenue tax, according to the state’s sports betting licensing and regulatory agency, the Tennessee Education Lottery. Bets were made via BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel plus local brand Action247.
In the first seven days of sports betting, handle was $27.4 million, generating revenue of $2.5 million and taxes of $509,000 for the state.
Eighty percent of tax revenue is directed to the state treasurer for deposit in the Lottery for Education Account; an additional 15 percent goes to local governments. The remaining 5 percent goes to the state’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for grants to help fund problem gambling services.
Tennessee Education Lottery President and Chief Executive Rebecca Paul Hargrove said, “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. 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.”
The state legislature passed a sports betting bill in April 2019. Governor Bill Lee allowed it to become law without his signature in May 2019.
The lottery posted the highest fiscal-year first-quarter total since it began in 2004–$492.8 million—for July, August and September. As a result, the education lottery received $114 million for scholarships and grants.