December 19, 2023 3 min read

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Tennessee Breaks Sports Betting Records with Over $500M Handle in November

The data, disclosed by the Tennessee Sports Wagering Advisory Council (SWAC), indicated a growth of 16.16% compared to the preceding month

Tennessee’s sports betting industry hit a historic milestone in November, as the state reported a staggering $517 million in gross wagers, marking the first time the monthly handle surpassed the $500 million mark since the launch of sports betting in November 2020.

Tennessee’s Sports Betting Hits All-Time Peak with 16.16% Surge in November

The Tennessee Sports Wagering Advisory Council (SWAC) released the figures, revealing a 16.16% increase from the previous month’s total bets of $445.19 million in October 2023. This notable surge comes as no surprise, with the peak of the 2023 college football and NFL season contributing to the heightened betting activity.

The state also witnessed a substantial 17.68% year-over-year increase in handle, showcasing the continued growth and popularity of sports betting in Tennessee. The monthly sports betting handle for November 2023 now stands as the highest in the state’s history.

Tennessee’s sportsbooks generated $1.63 million in adjustments, reflecting an impressive 178% increase from the preceding month. Despite this robust monthly growth, the figure represents a 22.37% decrease compared to November 2022, which saw adjustments totaling $2.10 million.

The Volunteer State’s sports betting journey has seen remarkable growth, rebounding impressively from a record-low revenue of $10.1 million in August 2021. The recent surge in sports betting activities aligns with the entry of prominent platforms such as Fanatics Sportsbook, ESPN Bet, and Hard Rock into the Tennessee market in the last two years. Major players like FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM also went live in 2020 when sports betting was legalized.

Tennessee’s Bold Tax Strategy Nets $9.51 Million

In a unique approach to taxation, Tennessee has been the sole state taxing sportsbook operators based on their total betting handle since July 2023. The state imposes a 1.85% tax on the entire amount wagered. This shift aims to eliminate financial risks, ensuring Tennessee consistently receives privileged tax revenue from all sportsbook operators.

As a result of November’s unprecedented betting activity, Tennessee collected over $9.51 million in privilege fees, marking a 16.16% increase from October this year and a 5.36% rise from November the previous year.

At the beginning of June, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed Senate Bill 475 into law, making the state the first in the US to tax sports betting operators based on their betting handle rather than revenue. The legislation, effective from July, replaced the current 20% tax on gross gaming revenue with a 1.85% tax on the monthly betting handle, eliminating the requirement for operators to hold 10% of their handle. The renewal license fees also shifted to a multi-tier system based on operators’ betting handle, aiming to boost tax revenue for various state programs.

Author

Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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