The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation, which will regulate sports betting in the state, is fresh off a record-breaking fiscal year.
According to the TELC, the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019 generated $1.81 billion in gross total sales, with an all-time high of $447.1 mm retained by the TELC for education programs. The funding represented 6% growth over the previous fiscal year. The sales were up 4.3% over the prior fiscal year, which saw $1.73 billion in sales, according to a separate state report obtained by TN Bets.
Gamblers were paid out about $1.2 billion off the $1.81 billion, up from roughly $1.04 billion the previous fiscal year, official Volunteer State figures show.
The announcement of the TELC’s fiscal year record came on the heels of a lottery player in the state winning a $198 mm Powerball jackpot on July 13.
“Not only does the Lottery create fun and prizes for winners such as our $198 mm Powerball player, but we continue to provide a valuable source of funding for programs that inspire Tennesseans to achieve their educational goals,” said Rebecca Hargrove, President and CEO of the TELC. “This year’s stellar results were made possible thanks to dedicated retailers, enthusiastic players, our Board of Directors, and an amazing team of Lottery employees, who remain committed to the strategies that have made us such a success.”
A whopping $1.4 billion of the $1.81 billion in sales came from instant ticket games, up 2.9% compared to the prior fiscal year. Last year’s instant ticket game sales were also a record.
Drawing-style games generated $363.6 million in sales, with $138.9 mm coming from Tennessee-only drawings (+2.1%) and $224.7 mm coming from multi-state games (+17%).
“The significant driver of this increase [in the multi-state drawings] was a $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot in October 2018, and a full year of Lotto America sales,” the TELC said.
The 2018/19 fiscal year brought the total amount of prize money paid out to players to $13.8 billion. The TELC has sold about $20.1 billion in tickets since it launched in January 2004.
Sports betting in the works
Tennessee will collect 20% of the revenues generated by state-sanctioned online/mobile sportsbooks. The TELC will retain 80% of the tax revenue, but under the sports betting law, which became effective July 1, the sports betting revenue must be accounted for separately from the traditional lottery proceeds.
The TELC will meet on Aug. 14 in Nashville for its regularly scheduled Board of Directors meeting. Sports betting could be on the agenda.
“The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation is working to create the requirements and processes necessary for the licensing and regulation of online sports wagering in Tennessee,” a spokesperson for the agency told TN Bets. The TELC didn’t provide any additional info about the timeline for crafting regulations.