Sports betting has been legal in Tennessee for just over two weeks, but the Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL) is already looking to nearly double the number of mobile TN online sportsbook operators in the state.
At the Nov. 16 meeting of the Sports Wagering Advisory Council, the regulators announced they want to approve three new sports betting operator licenses by the end of 2020, according to a spokesperson from the Tennessee Education Lottery. The operators mentioned include BetAmerica, William Hill, and WynnBET. If approved, it would bring the number of online sports betting operators in the state to 7.
Tennessee Sports Betting History In Brief
Tennessee launched legal sports betting on Nov. 1, 2020, after state legislators approved the Tennessee Sports Gaming Act in April, 2019. The bill became law in July 2019, notably without Gov. Bill Lee’s signature.
Tennessee has no land casinos, so it’s a rare instance of an online-only sports betting market. Not having licensing of online sportsbooks tied to casinos means the upper bound of the market’s size at maturity is theoretically infinite, so it should be a fiercely competitive state.
When the switch was flipped on Nov. 1, the state had four operators: BetMGM Tennessee, Draftkings Tennessee, FanDuel Tennessee, and Action 24/7. The potential additions would nearly double the size of the market.
An Early Peek At TN Sports Betting Handle
Also announced by the Tennessee Education Lottery was the amount of sports wagers, or handle, accepted by the state in its first week of operation: $27.4 million. This figure is certainly nothing to sneeze at considering the relative youth of the market and the small number of operators currently up and running in the state.
The TEL broke down the take from Nov. 1-8, revealing that on the first day of legal sports betting in Tennessee, the state took in more than $5.1 million in bets. That’s $800,000 in gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the state and $160,000 in taxes in a single day.
The week including Nov. 2-8 saw an additional $22.2 million in wagers, from which the state took in $1.7 million in GGR and $349,000 in taxes.
TEL President and CEO Rebecca Paul Hargrove said in a news release, “These numbers are encouraging as we work to protect the consumer, promote fairness in sports and regulate this new Tennessee industry that provides critical funds for education, as well as local governments and problem gambling services.”
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call or text the Tennessee REDLINE: 1-800-889-9789. Please Gamble Responsibly. 21+