Tennessee Sees First Sports Betting Decline in February

Tennessee Sees First Sports Betting Decline in February
© USA Today

With what’s going on with Tennessee sports betting over the last week, the Tennessee Education Lottery released its February figures on Friday and it was consistent with what other states saw during the month.

Handle and revenue were down in Tennessee — that usually happens across the U.S. markets in February's legal sports betting because there are fewer days in the month and the NFL season ends.

Tennessee’s February sports betting handle was $176.3 million, down 16.6% from January’s $211.3 million. The state’s gross payouts came in at $163.3 million, a decrease of 14.2% from January ($190.4 million), according to the report posted Friday.

The February adjusted gross income posted was $13 million, a 40.4% decline from January ($21.8 million) and its privilege tax was $2.6 million, down 39.5% from January’s $4.3 million.

Tennessee also had its all-online sports betting market live for its first Super Bowl in February. Sports wagering numbers for the Super Bowl showed a total handle of about $15.4 million with payouts of $12.6 million.

March could be a stronger month with March Madness betting and two more operators live in the state — William Hill and TwinSpires.

Tennessee Sports Betting, February vs. January

Total HandleGross Payouts Privilege Tax
February$176.3M$163.3M $2.6M
January$211.3M$190.4M$4.3M
ChangeDown 16.6% Down 14.2% Down 39.5%

Note: Tennessee’s sports betting market is all mobile.

State Dealing with Sports Betting Issues

Tennessee launched on Nov. 1 as the nation’s first mobile-only sports betting market with four operators — BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and Nashville-based Action 24/7, which has undergone heavy scrutiny over the past couple of weeks.

Action 24/7 was suspended by the lottery last week over alleged financial crimes. The company filed a lawsuit this week to have its license reinstated, and after weighing the decision, a local judge lifted the suspension on Friday.

The state had said during the hearing that Action 24/7 was one of the websites targeted with suspicious betting activity around the Super Bowl.

Sports Gaming VP Steps Down

Danielle Boyd, vice president of sports gaming operations for the lottery, gave notice last week that she would step down on March 31. She said she has accepted another job opportunity.

It was the second departure of the lottery’s head of sports gaming operations in 15 months. Jennifer Roberts had the job for about eight months before stepping down last June. The lottery quickly announced Boyd, who had been at William Hill and the West Virginia Lottery, as Roberts’ replacement.

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