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Tennessee: January betting handle drops 5.6% month-on-month

| By Kyle Goldsmith
Tennessee has reported a 5.6% month-on-month drop in handle for January, with players’ spending of $465.8m (£370.8m/€434.4m) also 9.6% down on the record month of November last year.

November 2023 was the first month in which handle in Tennessee surpassed $500m. The state’s legal wagering market opened in November 2020.

Gross wagers in Tennessee also dropped 5.6% month-on-month to $467.4m, again falling 9.6% short of November’s total of $517.1m.

Despite the month-on-month decrease, Tennessee’s gross wagers for January were 13.8% higher than the same month in 2023.

Privilege tax assessed for January stood at $8.6m, the first time it has dipped under the $9m figure since November 2023.

The Quarterly Survey of State and Local Tax Revenue (QTAX), carried out by the United States Census Bureau, found Tennessee ranked seventh in the country in terms of the tax generated by sports betting in Q3 2023 with $16.1m. That is 3.1% of the $506m generated nationwide.

Leading operators in Tennessee boosting handle

When the legal market went live in November 2020, a number of leading operators launched in Tennessee. FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM all went live on opening day.

Since then, the market has expanded even further. Fanatics Sportsbook went live in August 2023, with the operator also launching in Ohio, Massachusetts and Maryland as part of its growth plans.

ESPN Bet’s launch across 17 states in November saw Tennessee chosen as one of the roll-outs. ESPN Bet is the product of Penn’s $1.5bn partnership with the Disney-owned ESPN, the largest sports media brand in the US.

Hard Rock launched in Tennessee in September 2022. The operator was already running three Hard Rock Cafés across the state, while the Hard Rock Bristol Casino is located over the state line in Virginia.

Caesars Sportsbook, meanwhile, also runs sports betting in Tennessee. This is possible through a multi-year partnership with Tennessee-based NBA team Memphis Grizzlies agreed in August 2022.

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