Tennessee’s December Sports Gambling Handle Dips Below $500M After Hitting Record In November

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on January 18, 2024
Tennessee Sports Betting December

Tennessee’s continued growth in sports betting handle slowed in December.

According to Tennessee’s Sports Wagering Advisory Council (SWAC) latest report, players wagered $493.3 million on sports last month. December’s betting handle represents a 4.27% month-over-month decline from November’s record of $517.14 million.

Although sports betting handle fell month over month, it increased 12.40% compared to December last year.

Tennessee’s December sports betting handle is still second best in 2023

November was the first and only month during 2023 that players spent more than $500 million using Tennessee sportsbook operators.

Despite slowing down last month, the December sports betting handle is still the second highest in 2023.

Last month, the gross handle adjustments reached $1.74 million, contributing to $495.07 million in gross bets. December adjustments represent a 7.02% monthly increase and a 21.8% yearly drop.

Here’s a look at Tennessee’s 2023 monthly totals (gross bets) for sports betting activity:

  1. January: $410,773,606
  2. February: $327,326,201
  3. March: $392,667,304
  4. April: $318,416,216
  5. May: $279,794,996
  6. June: $230,337,515
  7. July: $215,489,157
  8. August: $243,456,822
  9. September: $420,006,053
  10. October: $445,192,913
  11. November: $517,141,377
  12. December: $495,067,783

According to the SWAC’s December report, Tennessee sportsbooks paid $9.1 million in taxes, relatively similar to November 2023 and December 2022.

Starting in July, Tennessee has been the only state to tax its sportsbooks according to their gross bets (betting handle or total bets).

Six months of Tennessee’s new gambling tax regime

Tennessee imposes a 1.85% tax on gross handle, replacing a 20% tax on adjusted gross income that was implemented until July.

After the tax change, the SWAC no longer reported on paid-out winnings or how much Tennessee operators earn off the gross wagers.

Tennessee directs:

  • 80% of its sports wagering taxes to the Lottery for Education Fund to pay for things such as the Hope Scholarship
  • 15% to the general fund of local governments
  • 5% to the state’s Department of Mental Health

Players in the Volunteer State can choose from 12 Tennessee online sportsbooks, with ESPN being the latest to launch in November.

Leading sportsbook operators DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM are also available. They were the first to receive the Tennessee Education Lottery Corp.’s approval in September 2020 and launch in November 2020.

As Tennessee doesn’t have a limitation on the number of permitted licenses, players can expect to see a continued arrival of sportsbooks in the state.

Photo by Brandon Dill/AP photo
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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for PlayCanada.com. Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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