Tennessee becomes quickest state to $1bn landmark

Tennessee has become the quickest legal sports jurisdiction to top the $1bn milestone, achieving the feat in just six months and amid an expected decline through April.

Sportsbooks took in $178m in wagers in April, which is down 13.6 per cent from the $205.9m recorded in March, although the figure is up slightly from $176.3m generated in February.

The anticipated month-over-month decline came as sportsbooks transitioned to relying on regular season baseball and NBA basketball, rather than the NFL and NCAA Tournament to drive bettor interest. 

However, the action yielded $2.8m in tax revenue, which analysts say that at current tax rates means sportsbooks produced in the region of $14m in adjusted gross income, which is down from $16.1m month-on-month.

“With an online-only launch during the NFL season and at the beginning of a month, Tennessee kicked off its sports betting industry under nearly perfect circumstances,” stated Nicole Russo, analyst for PlayTenn.com

“The circumstances gave the state a leg up, but Tennessee has still outperformed its expectations. Few predicted just how quickly the Volunteer State, a state with no legal betting history, has embraced online sports betting.”

With April’s bets, Tennessee sportsbooks have now generated $1.1bn in wagers since November’s launch. That makes the Volunteer State the fastest to the mark, topping New Jersey, which reached $1bn in its seventh month.

“Tennessee has suffered some growing pains, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering how little experience the state had in regulating legal betting,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayTenn.com

“Despite the challenges, the foundation is set for what should be a long period of growth. Ideally, the change in oversight will help the market further flourish.”

It has also been confirmed that four new betting operators have applications pending, which will bring fresh challenges to market leader BetMGM and close contenders FanDuel and DraftKings.

“The Tennessee market is still a long way from maturity,” Russo added. “New operators will help keep the market fresh and growing, while the dominant players continue to reach new customers. The bottom line is that Tennessee is nowhere near its ceiling yet.”

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