The first four operators to offer online sports betting in Tennessee have been given the nod for another year of taking wagers in the Volunteer State.
Tennessee’s Sports Wagering Advisory Council (SWAC) met Monday and approved four renewal applications for online sportsbooks.
Companies tied to FanDuel, BetMGM, DraftKings, and Action 24/7 all received the go-ahead for another year of accepting action in the state, which only allows online sports betting. The four operators were also the first to launch in Tennessee when legal wagering began in November 2020.
While the renewal applications were not expected to cause any stir (and they didn’t), the approvals will keep the bookmakers doing business in one of only a handful of southern states to have leaned into mobile sports betting. Tennessee’s sports-betting rules require operators to renew their licenses every year and to pay a $750,000 annual renewal fee.
“The renewal is important because we of course need to follow the statute and the rules, and we are making sure that [the operators] have submitted updated documents and updated key personnel information if there is any,” SWAC Executive Director Mary Beth Thomas said during Monday’s meeting. “But … it's not a situation of something controversial that would be discussed, because if there was anything that needed to be discussed, you all would have heard about it already from us in the course of our working with them over the past year.”
More operators, more handle
In addition to the four operators, the SWAC approved nine renewals for sports betting-related vendors, including geolocation company GeoComply Solutions Inc., sportsbook-platform provider Kambi Group PLC, and data firm Sportradar AG.
The renewals come as the legal sports betting market in Tennessee has grown this year compared to 2021. There are now 13 licensed operators in the state, although one is Fubo Sportsbook, which recently shut down.
Handle for every month of 2022 has been higher than in 2021, including in September, when total wagering was $336.9 million, up nearly 31% from a year earlier.
September's wagering in Tennessee also generated about $43.6 million in adjusted revenue and $8.7 million in tax for the state. Both numbers blew past September 2021's totals of $16.6 million in adjusted income and $3.3 million in tax.
Last month's action was much improved over August, too, when the state's handle was $205.9 million. That month-over-month improvement is chiefly due to the return of regular-season football games in bulk.
“Football season really helps, I guess,” SWAC Chairman Billy Orgel said during Monday’s meeting.