With football living strong in the hearts of sports fans throughout the South, it should be no surprise that the start of a new season led to a record for Tennessee sports betting.
The Tennessee Lottery reported a record $257 million betting handle for the month of September. That’s an increase of 78.1% from the $144.5 million betting handle in August and a 21.6% increase on the previous record of $211.3 million set in January.
The Lottery’s revenue in September had similar increases. It nearly doubled from August to September, going from $13.2 million to $25.6 million. In January, the Lottery netted $20.9 million.
Online sports betting launched in Tennessee in November 2020.
With the Titans finding their groove with some big wins, and the Vols’ offense lighting up scoreboards, it will be interesting to see how the increased excitement surrounding the state’s biggest teams affected the sports betting handle in October.
Sports Betting Transfer On The Horizon
At the end of the year, the Tennessee Lottery will no longer be tasked with regulating sports betting in the state. Those duties will be handed to the Sports Wagering Advisory Council.
Gov. Bill Lee on May 27 signed SB 0588, which transfers all powers and duties regarding the Tennessee Sports Gaming Act to the SWAC.
The SWAC hired Mary Beth Thomas as its executive director, and her first day on the job was Nov. 1. She will be in charge of creating rules and regulations and hiring staff members all with the goal of being ready to take over all the necessary duties on Jan. 1.
Thomas was working for the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office when it was given the responsibility of regulating daily fantasy sports, so she has experience.
With Thomas leading the way, the Council held meetings on Nov. 5 and Nov. 9. They were heavy on rulemaking and discussing candidates for various positions such as the Deputy Director of Gaming, Licensure and Compliance, and General Counsel.