Tennessee Has Biggest Sports Betting Month Since Launch

The first September of sports wagering in Tennessee was one to remember as the state’s Education Lottery Corporation reported record handle and gross gaming revenue figures Monday.

The Volunteer State launched sports wagering last November, which meant it missed out on the key month when NFL and college football begin an annual four-month stretch of high game inventory across multiple sports. With the Tennessee Titans firmly in control of the AFC South and the popularity of SEC college football, it figured September would provide an excellent opportunity for new benchmarks.

Bettors delivered on their end, generating $257.3 million in wagers for the month and leaving Tennessee just over $40 million shy of $2 billion in total wagers for the first 11 months. The figure outpaced January’s previous high of $211.3 million and marked the third time monthly handle exceeded $200 million.

The September handle represented a 78.1% increase from both July and August, as the TELC reported $144.5 million in wagers for both months.

How much did the sportsbooks make?

Operators also did well as they posted a 9.95% hold, resulting in $25.6 million in gross revenue for September. That nearly doubled August’s figure of $13.2 million and shattered the previous standard of $20.9 million set in January. It was the fifth consecutive month operators posted a hold of 9% or better, and Tennessee’s monthly hold has been above the industry standard of 7% every month since launch.

The state was able to tax $16.6 million of that income, with the promotional play of $9 million the highest recorded in 11 months of wagering and nearly triple the $3.1 million in August. Tennessee’s 20% tax rate on adjusted revenue, however, does mitigate some of the potential lost tax receipts as state coffers received more than $3.3 million from action in September. The tax total is now nearly $26.9 million for 2021.

Tennessee became the 10th overall jurisdiction (nine states and the District of Columbia) to report an all-time record handle in September, and it was the fifth with a record revenue haul. The Volunteer State also became the eighth state to clear $25 million in revenue in a single month in the post-PASPA era.

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