by Jon Styf
If trends hold, by the end of next month Tennessee will have seen $6 billion in sports wagers since the state opened legal online sports gambling in November 2020.
Then, the state had four sportsbook operators in Action 24/7, BetMGM, FanDuel and DraftKings.
“All four of those operators are up for renewal at the end of October, so we have received their renewal applications and are working on those documents and will have to schedule a meeting hopefully at the end of October to vote on those renewals,” Tennessee Sports Wagering Council Executive Director Mary Beth Thomas said at the group’s meeting earlier this month.
Now, 11 operators are active in Tennessee with BallyBet and Fubo Sportsbook approved but not yet operational.
Since sports gambling opened in the state, Tennessee has collected $78.7 million in taxes.
The largest months of gambling to this point in the state has been $386 million in bets in January along with $375 million in wagers in October 2021 and $370 million in March 2022.
In August, Tennessee saw an increase in taxes collected after the sports wagering committee changed its standards for sportsbooks reporting income.
Tennessee collects 20% of the industry’s net operator revenue in taxes. Of the sports gambling taxes, 80% of the taxes collected from sports gambling goes to education, 15% goes to the state for distribution to local governments and 5% goes toward mental health programs.
With wagering expected to increase this National Football League season, Tennessee could be seeing its highest numbers in the coming months.
The American Gaming Association recently estimated that 46.6 million Americans plan to bet on the NFL this season with 23 million placing bets online, up 18% from 2021 and 104% from 2020.
“The sustained interest in NFL wagering reflects the growth and continued maturation of legal sports betting across the country,” according to AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “Consumers clearly want legal sports betting options and understand the regulated industry’s foundational commitments to responsibility.”
Sports wagering is now legal in 32 states as opposed to 27 in 2021 and 19 in 2020.
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Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies. Styf is a reporter for The Center Square.