August 26, 2021 3 min read


July Saw a Drop in Tennessee’s Sports Betting, but Sportsbooks Held On

The summer months are typically slower for sports betting in the US, as most major leagues are on break. Sportsbooks try to find innovative ways to fill the void left by the absence of basketball and football, but there is always a lull in the activity. Tennessee has released its sports betting figures for July and joins other states that saw a decrease in the monthly handle. However, the books aren’t overly concerned, as they managed to hang onto the win rate they saw the previous month.

Tennessee Sports Bets Drop in July

According to the Tennessee Education and Lottery Corporation (TELC), July was a slow month for sportsbooks in the state. Despite hitting the market strong when the state started welcoming operators late last year, the handle was 17.2% lower than in June, with $144.5 million in total wagers collected. A month earlier, the figure was $174.5 million. Since Tennessee introduced legal sports betting last November, the market has been very strong, with only that inaugural month turning in a handle that was less than July’s results.

Tennessee rapidly surpassed the $1.5-billion mark with its sports betting handle before slowing down over the past couple of months. However, the online-only model seems to be working, as the 14 states to have released their sports betting figures for July reported a combined handle of $1.65 billion, which is 23.4% lower than that of June. Overall, Tennessee’s market is remaining strong compared to the national average.  

Sportsbooks Maintain Their Strength

Although the sports betting handle registered a significant dip in July, the sportsbooks operating in the state were able to keep up their momentum, but only barely. According to the TELC, the sportsbooks raked in $15.1 million in gross gaming revenue (GGR), implying a hold of 10.45%. In June, the hold was 10.51%. The sportsbooks have an incentive to keep the numbers up, as the TELC requires them to maintain a minimum 10% hold in order to stay on the regulator’s good side and avoid fines. The 10% requirement is based on a 12-month average; however, there has been discussion of assessing it on a quarterly basis. The TELC met this past Tuesday to discuss the changes, but no new information has been released. The seven sportsbooks currently operating in the state – Action 24/7, BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, TwinSpires and WynnBET – are likely not fond of the proposed change. Those books could soon be joined by two more, with regulators expected to approve new licenses before the end of next week.

Tennessee continues to benefit from sports betting, as well. The sportsbooks’ adjusted gaming revenue was approximately $13.4 million, of which 20% goes to the state. That results in about $2.7 million being handed over in July, with sportsbooks giving up almost $22 million to Tennessee across the first seven months of legal sports betting.


Erik brings his unique writing talents and storytelling flare to cover a wide range of gambling topics. He has written for a number of industry-related publications over the years, providing insight into the constantly evolving world of gaming. A huge sports fan, he especially enjoys football and anything related to sports gambling. Erik is particularly interested in seeing how sports gambling and online gaming are transforming the larger gaming ecosystem.

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