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Tennessee bettors stake $131.4m in first month of mobile wagering


The launch of sports betting in Tennessee has set a new record for the first month of legal wagering in a state, with bettors staking $131.4m in November. 

The state’s first bets were placed on 1 November, with players staking $27.4m in the first week, a period which saw the National Football League well underway. 

This ultimately resulted in total handle of $131.4m for the month, far surpassing the previous first month record of $35.2m set by Indiana for September 2019. 

With gross winnings of $118.2m paid out to players, this suggests the four operators currently live – DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel and local brand Action 247 – generated revenue of $13.2m. 

After adjustments, the state received $2.4m from the 20% gross revenue tax levied on its licensees. 

This will be divided between a number of state bodies, with 80% going to the Lottery for Education Account, and a further 15% going to the Tennessee General Fund. The final 5% will be allocated to the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to tackle problem gambling.

“Our first month of sports wagering in Tennessee comes at a unique time in the world, let alone the sports world,” Tennessee Education Lottery president and chief executive Rebecca Paul Hargrove commented. 

“November’s figures include adjustments and indicate potential,” Hargrove said. “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.”