Tennessee Witnesses a Rebound in Sports Betting Handle for August

Handle and revenue increased by roughly 13% month-over-month.

Last Updated: Sep 14, 2023 8:25 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
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With summer ending, bettors are ready to get back into action and legal sports betting operators are preparing for a popular football season.

Tennessee’s Sports Wagering Advisory Council (SWAC) reported that the state took in $243.4 million in wagers last month — a 13% increase from July’s $215.4 million.

On top of that, the state’s year-over-year data shows a growth in sports betting. August 2022 saw just $205.9 million, meaning this year marked an 18.2% increase in action.

Boost in revenue

Handle is the name of the game for sports betting in Tennessee. While every other sports betting state looks at the net revenue when determining its tax haul, the Volunteer State is two months into a legislative reform when online betting sites are taxed by the wagers they take in. 

In August, following adjustments, the taxable gross handle amounted to $241.8 million, resulting in a tax bill of $4.4 million. This represented a 12.8% increase compared to the preceding month and marked a substantial 57% rise compared to the same period last year.

The new 1.85% tax on the handle will stabilize what the state takes in per month, but the trade-off is that as sportsbooks reduce their promotions to boost revenue, Tennessee will not benefit.

During June, the handle reached $230.3 million, which was $13.1 million less than the previous month. In terms of tax revenue, the state collected $4.6 million, approximately $200,000 higher than the amount collected in August. 

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