The experts at BetTennessee.com have developed this guide to help you better understand the terms used when discussing Tennessee sports betting revenue and handle. The state releases those figures monthly.
Tennessee lawmakers passed a bill to legalize sports betting in April 2019, and the law officially took effect on July 1, 2019. The first sportsbooks opened in the state in November 2020. The Volunteer State was the first to legalize online wagering only and exclude brick-and-mortar establishments from setting up shop.
Currently, there are 13 operators licensed to take wager in the state. The most recent was ZenSports, which was approved in May 2023.
The 10th month of the calendar year provided huge returns for Tennessee sportsbooks, with a new state record for monthly handle ($443,798,160) and a solid spike in privilege tax ($8,190,461) in October.
Overall, the Volunteer State’s October handle was up 6.2% from September’s total of $418,063,447 and 9.5% year-over-year from October 2022’s total handle of $405,337,575. It also marked the largest single-month handle in Tennessee sports betting history, knocking off the previous record that was set in December 2022, when the operators collected $440,445,414 in wagers.
The state of Tennessee has stopped reporting sports betting revenue figures so BetTennessee.com can no longer calibrate where the market stands by that traditional metric, though we know there was a solid jump in taxes collected during the month of October. Tennessee sportsbooks chipped in $8,190,461 in taxes during the month, which jumped 6.2% from September ($7,715,705) and 17.2% year-over-year ($6,989,818).
Through the first 10 months of the calendar year, Tennessee sportsbooks have taken in just under $3.28 billion in total handle, along with just over $64.9 million in privilege taxes — averaging out to $327,874,832.20 and $6,493,965.80 per month.
Tennessee sports betting operators accepted $3.85 billion in wagers in 2022. That represented a 41% increase from the $2.73 billion wagered in the state the previous year at Tennessee sportsbook apps.
When Tennessee lawmakers first legalized sports betting, they established a 20% tax on revenue. However, they passed a new bill during the General Assembly’s 2023 session that will change how the state generates revenue from sports betting. Starting in July 2023, Tennessee is charging a 1.85% tax on the handle, or the amount wagered in a month, minus the 0.25% federal handle excise tax. The Volunteer State is the first sports betting state in the nation to raise revenue in such a fashion. The state no longer reports revenue generated, only handle and taxes.
Tennessee releases its revenue figures every month, and the data is posted on the state’s Sports Wagering Council’s website (tn.gov/swac).
Tennessee dedicates 80% of its sports betting tax revenue to education and 15% to local governments. The remaining 5% helps fund mental health programs in the state. The state collected $68 million in sports betting taxes in 2022. That was up significantly from the $40.7 million the state raised in 2021.
The Tennessee Sports Wagering Council (formerly the Sports Wagering Advisory Council) oversees sports betting in the state and is responsible for licensing operators.
Mobile sports betting is defined as the amount of money wagered through apps on mobile devices or online websites. All the wagers placed in Tennessee are placed through mobile or online devices. Many operators in the state offer Tennessee sports betting promos to customers.
The handle is the amount of money bettors wagered for a specific period. In Tennessee that adds up to hundreds of millions each month. The revenue is what sportsbooks retain after paying out winning wagers.
The experts at BetTennessee who bring you the latest updates in Tennessee sports betting. We pull together decades of experience to give you analysis as well as comparisons of the best TN online gambling apps.