Tennessee becomes fifth-fastest state to reach $2bn lifetime handle

Tennessee has become the fifth-fastest state to reach the $2bn milestone in lifetime handle since the first sportsbook launched in 2020.

Tennessee has become the fifth-fastest state to reach the $2bn milestone in lifetime handle as October saw its results reach $2.3bn since the first sportsbook launched in November, 2020. 

Obliterating its previous record for monthly wagering, the Volunteer State recorded $375m in bets last month, $120m more than the previous high set in September, citing the surge of an usually robust sports calendar and bettors increasing comfort with sports betting, according to PlayTenn, which tracks the Tennessee gaming market. 

“With five full weekends of the NFL and college football, baseball’s postseason, and the start of the NBA season, betting inventory was off the charts,” said Alec Cunningham, an analyst for PlayTenn.com.

“The calendar won’t always be so cooperative, but a maturing market will continue to push Tennessee’s industry.”

Within October, sportsbooks accepted $375.3m in bets, up 45.9 per cent from the previous record generated in September – $257.3m – according to data released during a meeting of the Tennessee Education Lottery and Sports Wagering Advisory Council earlier this week. 

Additionally, bettors placed $12.1m in wagers per day over the 31 days, up from $8.6m per day over the 30 days of September.

Moreover, gross revenue fell nine per cent to $23.3m from September’s record of $25.6m, but that still represented the second-most profitable month for sportsbooks. The win led to a record $17.2m in taxable revenue, which yielded $3.4m in tax revenue.

“The enthusiasm for football in Tennessee has been a sort of rocket fuel for the state’s industry,” said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.

“Tennessee is proof that if demand is high and sportsbooks put out a good product, the market will succeed regardless of sometimes clumsy regulation.”

On predictions for the remainder of the year, Cummingham noted “more records will almost certainly fall before the end of the year” with Tennessee “one of the few states” with at least one NFL, NBA, and NHL team and multiple division one football and basketball programmes playing full schedules in November.