The Week In Sports Betting News: Tennessee Sportsbooks Start Historically

Posted on December 28, 2020
Posted By on December 28, 2020

Happy Monday, everyone, and welcome to why-can’t-I-be-off-like-my-kids week. It’s also the final week of 2020, which has been packed full of sports betting news for better or worse.

Before we look at what happened in all of 2020, let’s just take a look back at last week. The LSR Podcast was a bit brief in the holiday-shortened week but still tackled the top news stories, including how the NFL and Nickelodeon launched a website for kids with gambling-like elements.

Be sure to follow @LSPReport on Twitter for any breaking news updates over the rest of the holiday period.

Top sports betting news: Tennessee’s historic debut

Online sports betting in Tennessee launched in November as the first mobile-only market in the US. After its debut, don’t be surprised if more states emulate the model.

The four legal sportsbooks in Tennessee took more than $131 million in handle in November, the most ever for a US jurisdiction’s first month of operations.

Details were not broken out by operator so we don’t know who took the top operator position. It’s likely a safe bet that either FanDuel Sportsbook or DraftKings Sportsbook took the first spot with the other not far behind. BetMGM likely captured third with homegrown Action 24/7 taking the remaining bets.

Action 24/7 got out of the gates a bit slower than the rest with its apps launching later in November. Momentum has been great for December so far though, a spokesperson told LSR:

“Our December performance has exceeded our expectations. In the last 30 days our bet count is up over 320% and our handle is up over 400%. Tennessee bettors love our cash deposit and withdrawal services. Action 24/7 is the only licensed sportsbook that doesn’t require players to have a bank account. Our cash services are up 580% in the past 30 days.”

Would federally decriminalized weed help sports betting?

The growing acceptance of marijuana in the United States could be good news for things to come for sports betting.

Decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level could make it easier for banks to accept those transactions. Banks have been wary of even opening accounts for companies selling marijuana because of the potential federal crime involved.

Loosening or removing those restrictions could be a positive step for sports betting and potential interstate compacts that would pool players from multiple jurisdictions.

President-elect Joe Biden previously told CDC Gaming he doesn’t support additional unnecessary restrictions on the gaming industry.

Colorado continues to grow

The Colorado sports betting market again hit new heights in November with $231 million in bets.

Football was, of course, the top sport for November with more than $110 million split between professional and NCAA games.

Table tennis remained the third-most bet sport in the state with $12.4 million in handle.

Gross revenue was $18.4 million for the month, but more than $9 million was deducted for free play and the federal excise tax. That left $9 million in taxable revenue for just under $800,000 in tax revenue for the month.

BetMGM, Sixers partner

BetMGM, which recently launched its mobile sportsbook in Pennsylvania, is now partnered with the Philadelphia 76ers.

The book is an official betting partner of the team and will get prominent signage during home games, including the BetMGM logo on pole pads.

The agreement also includes the standard marketing benefits, including mentions on the team’s social networks. MGM Resorts will also host activation events at the Borgata when it’s safe.

Photo by Phelan M. Ebenhack / The Associated Press
Matthew Waters Avatar
Written by
Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

View all posts by Matthew Waters
Privacy Policy