Tennessee sportsbooks generated August handle of $145m, on par with July wagers, according to the Tennessee Education Lottery and Sports Wagering Advisory Council.
Gross gaming revenue for the month was $13.2m compared to $15.2m in July. Sports betting produced $10.1m in taxable revenue, resulting in $2.0m in tax revenue.
The low August handle reflects a lack of attractive options for bettors to wager on during the summer months. Though the Tennessee Titans returned for preseason games last month, football wagers didn’t appear to make a substantial impact on handle.
Nicole Russo, an analyst for PlayUSA Network, expects Tennessee sports bettors to wager heavily on the gridiron during the fall months.
"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.”
Russo added, "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. The result is aggressive promotions from established operators, and new operators scrambling to launch before kickoff."
Eric Ramsey, also an analyst for PlayUSA Network, called the next couple months “the most important time for the industry” with the return of football.
Tennessee, a state situated in the heart of the Southeast, is especially reliant on football given the sport’s social significance in the region.
"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,” Ramsey said.
Tennessee runs an exclusively mobile sports betting market. Barstool Sportsbook is the latest operator to join the fray, launching in early September ahead of the NFL season.
Tennessee does not release revenue figures by operator.