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Tennessee sports betting numbers continue to slow down in August

Gross gaming revenue plummeted to $13.2 million from $15.2 million in July.
United States
Reading time 1:49 min
Bettors placed $144.5 million in wagers throughout the month, with a daily $4.7 million betting pace, which matches July 2021's low in bets. Experts foresee better numbers for September, as it marked the first full football season of legal betting in the state.

As reported by PlayTenn, which tracks the Tennessee gaming market, the state’s sportsbooks’ numbers in August have continued to slow down, matching July’s 2021 low in wagers.

Bettors placed $144.5 million in wagers during the 31 days of August, according to official data released Monday by the Tennessee Education Lottery and Sports Wagering Advisory Council. The pace of betting remained $4.7 million per day in August, from $4.7 million a day over the 31 days of July. 

Gross gaming revenue plummeted to $13.2 million from $15.2 million in July. August’s revenue produced $10.1 million in taxable revenue, which yielded $2 million in tax revenue.

This trend could be linked to the fact that only a handful of college football games were played in August, and none of them included Tennessee, Memphis, Middle Tennessee or Vanderbilt. The NFL schedule was limited to preseason games, including three with the Tennessee Titans.  

Data released by PlayTenn.com

Nicole Russo, analyst for PlayTenn.com, said: "After an up and down summer, it would've been encouraging to see some growth in handle ahead of what is a crucial period in the industry. No sport motivates bettors like football, though. And a surge in betting this fall will put an end to the slower summer months."

Having marked the beginning of the first full football season of legal betting in Tennessee, September is expected to show different numbers. 

Eric Ramsey, analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, commented: "This is the most important time for the industry, but we still don't know for certain how bettors in Tennessee will engage over a full football season. It seems like a safe bet that wagering on football will likely represent a greater share of Tennessee's annual handle than the national average."

Tennessee also saw a shakeup in its mix of operators in August with Barstool Sportsbook's launch just ahead of the NFL season. Regulators also approved a new social sports betting brand, Wagr, which is expected to launch during the football season.

"College football and the NFL aren't just important in terms of the wagers they generate, they also represent the greatest opportunity for sportsbooks to grow their customer base," Russo said. "The result is aggressive promotions from established operators, and new operators scrambling to launch before kickoff."

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