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TN lottery revenue grows to $492.8m in first quarter


The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation (TEL) transferred $114.0m to the Lottery for Education Account following a record performance in the first quarter of its 2021 fiscal year.

For the three months to 30 September 2020, the lottery generated revenue of $492.8m, a $70.9m improvement on the prior year, and the highest first quarter figure since the lottery’s inception in January 2004. 

This was aided by $420.8m contribution from its instant win games, up $69.0m from Q1 2019, and setting another new record for the vertical.

After player winnings of $319.6m, and operating costs, the lottery was able to allocate a further $114.0m to the Lottery for Education Account, which uses the funding for scholarships and grants. In the 2019-20 school year alone, more than 150,000 students in the state benefitted from lottery funding.

“We ended the last fiscal year in a solid position, and we have continued that momentum through the first quarter,” said TEL president and chief executive Rebecca Paul Hargrove, who last week was re-elected as president of the World Lottery Association. 

The 2020 fiscal year saw revenue reach $1.84bn, up marginally year-on-year. That year’s performance was aided by the strongest quarter in the lottery’s history in Q4, for which revenue reached $527.3m. 

Since the lottery’s establishment in January 2004, it has generated $5.62bn for the Lottery for Education Account. 

The state’s gambling market is set to expand significantly with the launch of real-money online sports betting, which was facilitated by the passing of SB0016 in May last year, and rules approved in April.

That bill names the TEL as the de-facto regulator, which has seen it establish a Sports Wagering Committee to oversee the process. This committee has already issued the state’s first licences, to Flutter Entertainment’s FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM, as well as approving local operator Action247’s application at a meeting earlier this month.