Tennessee sportsbooks obliterated the state record for monthly wagering with $375 million in bets in October, $120 million more than the previous high set in September. October’s surge is a product of an unusually 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.”
Sportsbooks accepted $375.3 million in bets in October, up 45.9% from the record $257.3 million handle generated in September, according to data released Tuesday during a meeting of the Tennessee Education Lottery and Sports Wagering Advisory Council. Bettors placed $12.1 million in wagers per day over the 31 days of October, up from $8.6 million per day over the 30 days of September.
Gross revenue fell 9.0% to $23.3 million from September’s record of $25.6 million, but that still represented the second-most profitable month for sportsbooks. The win led to a record $17.2 million in taxable revenue, which yielded $3.4 million in tax revenue.
October’s results pushed the state’s lifetime handle to $2.3 billion since the first sportsbooks launched in November 2020, making the Volunteer State the fifth-fastest to the $2 billion milestone.
“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.com Network, which includes PlayTenn.com. “Tennessee is proof that if demand is high and sportsbooks put out a good product, the market will succeed regardless of sometimes clumsy regulation.”
Sportsbooks should see plenty of action over the next two months, even without five weekends of football like October offered.
“Tennessee is one of the few states with at least one NFL, NBA, and NHL team and multiple Division I football and basketball programs, all of which will be playing full schedules in November,” Cunningham said. “More records will almost certainly fall before the end of the year.”
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