Tennessee Sports Betting Handle Continues to Fall in January

A month prior, the Volunteer State had reported a 4.2% drop in handle compared to November.

Feb 24, 2024 • 14:43 ET • 4 min read
Roman Josi Nashville Predators NHL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee’s Sports Wagering Advisory Council (SWAC) has reported that the Volunteer State accepted $467.4 million in bets last month, marking a 5.5% drop from the $495 million from December.

Sportsbook adjustments/deductions came in at just under $1.6 million, leaving a final taxable handle at $465.8 million. From that, the state charged operators a total of $8.6 million.

Looking back at last year, this past January’s handle and tax bills were significantly higher, as the state saw a 13.8% increase in handle and a 19.4% jump in its tax haul.

How Tennessee compares

With neighboring Kentucky jumping into sports betting late last year, now we can put the Tennessee sports betting market into perspective.

Kentucky ended 2023 with a 6.5% decrease in handle but nearly a 50% jump in revenue. A tax bill of $4.5 million came from $264 million in wagers.

Meanwhile, nearby Virginia saw a 0.8% monthly drop in action and a 57% spike in revenue. The tax bill ended up at $8.4 million from $633 million in wagers.

In December, the Volunteer State reported a 4.2% drop in handle compared to the previous month and a 4% decrease in tax revenue. The final bill to the state was $9.1 million from $495 million in bets.

December shows that Tennessee’s decision to tax operators on their handle, instead of revenue, can be more efficient than the competition. The issue was that there have been months where Tennessee’s year-over-year tax haul is much lower. 

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