Tennessee’s sports betting market off to the best start in US history

International Game Technology and SuperBook Sports have extended their partnership in North America to Tennessee. 

Tennessee sportsbooks recorded the best debut performance in the history of legal US sports betting, according to analysts from PlayTenn.com, after generating more in wagers in the market’s first month than any other state.

The sports betting entities generated $131.4m in handle in November, according to official data released by The Tennessee Education Lottery, after the activity commenced at the start of November. This shattered Indiana’s former record of $35.2m set in September 2019.

Money wagered in Tennessee resulted in a win of $13.2m, which is also the most in history for a state in its first month of legal sports betting. Those proceeds generated $2.4m in taxes for the state.

“The best-ever launch for online sports betting is perhaps a surprise to some, but Tennessee also debuted with enormously favourable circumstances, many of which came by design,” said Dustin Gouker, analyst for PlayTenn.com

“First, it debuted in the heart of the NFL and college football seasons in a region that is particularly football crazy. And with the top operators in the country jumping in early to take advantage of the football season in full swing, it was a debut month like no other.”

To offer a little perspective, New Jersey, currently the country’s number one, only surpassed the $130m barrier when it recorded $183.9m four months in, with Pennsylvania, the number three market, taking 11 months to beat the target by recording $194.5m in September 2019.

“Talk about getting the market off on the right foot,” noted Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayTenn.com. “Tennessee is a market with enormous potential but untested, making it difficult to predict how bettors would react to start. By topping the next-best debut by nearly $100m, I’d say that verdict is now in and it is a good one.”

November’s wagers will likely place Tennessee seventh in the US, behind New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Illinois, number five placed Indiana, which produced a state record $251.4m in November, and Colorado. Nevada and Illinois are projected inclusions with both regions to release data later this month and during January, respectively.

Four sportsbooks debuted in the first month, including FanDuel and DraftKings — the two largest operators in the US, as well as BetMGM and Action 24/7, with BetAmerica, WynnBet, and William Hill all expected in the new year.

Gouker added: “With its growing list of operators, this is just the start for the market. The next question is when and if Tennessee will challenge Colorado and Indiana in terms of overall market size. It appears sooner than anyone expected.”