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Tennessee Sportsbooks Win Over 10% Of February Sports Betting Dollars

Written By Derek Helling on March 24, 2023
taxes tennessee sports betting legal apps

The Tennessee Titans didn’t sniff Super Bowl LVII in February but for legal Tennessee sports betting apps, it was far from a Titanic catastrophe. In fact, sportsbook operators in the state actually had a solid month in terms of their revenue.

Tennesseans wagered over $327.3 million in February and the sportsbooks claimed $34 million of that total. After adjustments, the operators nearly reached the magic number that regulators in the state hold as an ideal.

Tennessee sports betting figures for February 2023

According to the Tennessee Sports Wagering Council (the body recently dropped “Advisory” from its name as it has taken over regulatory duties from the Tennessee Lottery), sportsbooks performed well in February. In fact, their adjusted revenue was more than double what it was during the same month in 2022.

In February 2022, bettors put down $313.2 million on sporting event wagers. They won $292.3 million of that amount, leaving about $20.9 million for the books. After adjustments like promotional deductions, the taxable revenue for that month came to $15.1 million.

The numbers for last month represented improvements on those figures.

  • Amount wagered – $327.3 million; up 4.4% year-over-year
  • Gross revenue – $34 million; up 38.6% from February 2022
  • Taxable revenue – $31.8 million; up 52.6% year-over-year

The end of the 2022-23 NFL playoffs signaled a downturn of sorts for sports betting in Tennessee, however. In January, the sportsbooks took $410.8 million in bets and won $36.3 million of that amount. Still, books are ahead of their 2022 performance through the first two months of the year.

Council members are likely pleased to see the sportsbooks come close to hitting the mark that the state’s rules recommend, too.

Adjusted revenue just misses regulatory threshold

After adjustments, the $31.8 million in taxable revenue last month amounts to a 9.7% hold. Tennessee sports betting regulations “require” sportsbooks to hold at least 10% of the money they take in each month.

It’s a “requirement” because regulators in the state have yet to actually penalize any Tennessee online gambling operator for non-compliance with the rule. Legislators are currently considering bills that would change the sports betting tax structure but whether they will become law is uncertain.

Under the current framework, Tennessee charges books a 20% rate on their adjusted revenue. Thus, the state collected $6.3 million in taxes last month. That’s just about 3.1% less than the $6.5 million that the state would have collected if operators actually hit the 10% hold suggestion.

In terms of gross revenue, the sportsbooks won about 10.3% from bettors during February, which is a solid month for sports betting apps in any state. If they keep winning at that rate, Tennessee might see a record year in terms of sports betting tax revenue in 2023.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

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