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Tennessee's Sports Betting Hit A New Record, Exceeding $500M For The First Time

Quick Intro

The latest data from the Tennessee Sports Wagering Advisory Council (SWAC) unveiled that November’s sports betting handle in Tennessee reached a groundbreaking $517.14 million. This milestone marks the first instance since its inception in November 2020 that Tennessee’s sports betting surpassed the half-billion dollar threshold.

Notably, sportsbooks in the state reported $1.63 million in adjustments for November, showcasing an impressive increase of nearly 178% compared to the previous month. This surge aligns with expectations, considering the ongoing 2023 college football and NFL seasons which are currently in full swing.

Significant Monthly Growth in Tennessee’s Sports Betting Handle

November’s sports betting handle in Tennessee, totaling $517.14 million, indicates a substantial 16.16% increase from October’s $445.19 million. This growth rate surpasses the 6.0% rise observed in October, reflecting the state’s robust market dynamics. The year-over-year comparison is even more striking, with a 17.68% increase in handle. Tennessee’s sports betting market has reached an all-time high since its establishment three years ago. The following is a breakdown of Tennessee’s monthly sports betting handles for 2023:

  • January: $410.77 million
  • February: $327.33 million
  • March: $392.67 million
  • April: $318.42 million
  • May: $279.79 million
  • June: $230.34 million
  • July: $215.49 million
  • August: $243.46 million
  • September: $420.00 million
  • October: $445.19 million
  • November: $517.14 million

Unique Taxation Approach in Tennessee

Tennessee stands out as the only state that taxes sportsbook operators based on their gross bets (total betting handle) since July 2023. This approach imposes a 1.85% tax on the total money wagered in sports betting. In contrast, other legal US gambling markets levy taxes based on operators’ gross gaming revenue (GGR) or adjusted gross income (AGI). Previously, Tennessee also followed this norm, taxing at a rate of 20%. The shift to the new tax structure aims to safeguard the state’s financial interests, ensuring consistent tax revenue from all sportsbook operators, regardless of their profitability.

Final Thoughts

The remarkable achievement of Tennessee’s sports betting market, surpassing $517 million in November, marks a significant milestone in the state’s gambling history. This record-breaking handle, fueled by popular sports seasons, signifies a robust and growing betting environment. However, Tennessee’s unique approach to taxing sportsbook operators based on total bets rather than revenue or income sets it apart from other states. This strategy ensures a steady flow of tax revenue, reflecting the state’s innovative approach to managing its burgeoning sports betting sector.

 Source: https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/swac/documents/report/2023/November.pdf

 

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