Tennessee sportsbooks expectedly rebounded from a flat August with a record-setting September with handle and revenue hitting new heights.
Handle hit $257.3 million in September, a 78% jump over August. The growth is reassuring for the young online TN sports betting market since August’s $144.5 million in handle was identical to July’s despite the start of college football betting at the end of the month.
Sports betting revenue was $25.6 million, good for a 9.9% hold and $3.3 million in taxes based on adjusted revenue of $16.6 million.
Clearly, NFL betting and Tennessee Titans games helped bettors open their digital wallets a little more. October‘s figures could show even more growth considering it had five NFL Sundays.
How’s that hold looking for Tennessee sportsbooks?
Operators only have three months to straighten out their hold and hit the state-required minimum 10% for all of 2021. With nine months reported, it appears some TN sportsbooks should be ready to pay up.
Overall hold for adjusted gross income in January through September is 8.2%. As the rules stand, any operator with annual hold lower than 10% could be fined up to $25,000.
That, of course, is peanuts to most US betting operators. That is part of why the new regulators ready to take over Jan. 1, 2022 are considering bumping that to a quarterly requirement.
Tennessee sportsbooks did not love that suggestion and expressed as much in public comments to the Sports Wagering Advisory Committee. It is not so much the threat of an additional $100,000 per year in fines but the blemishes on a company’s record when facing licensing in other jurisdictions, DraftKings noted.
First Tennessee sports betting licenses renewed (sort of)
It seems complying with Tennessee’s sports betting rules and regulations is not easy for anyone involved.
The Tennessee Education Lottery‘s Sports Wagering Committee met Friday to approve license renewals for its first four operators:
Eight suppliers were up for renewal as well. Unfortunately, though, all of those approvals could only come on a conditional basis since many did not submit all the information necessary for full approval.
Alonda McCutcheon, general counsel for the TEL, listed a number of factors for the delay that put blame on the regulator, operators, and the expanding US sports betting industry. One unspecified operator of those four was really behind the ball as of Friday, as the TEL was still missing an application from key personnel.
Those conditional approvals expire Dec. 17. Approving the full renewals could be the final action of the TEL before the handoff to SWAC.
Is TN willing to bet on Wagr?
Wagr, the pseudo-P2P betting operator looking for its US launch in Tennessee, will have to wait longer for full approval.
The upstart company submitted a letter to the TEL that detailed a mitigation plan since it cannot come up with the full insurance necessary per TEL rules as well as the next steps to obtain additional coverage after launching.
While Chairman Will Carver said he appreciated Wagr’s position, he stressed the importance of protecting the people of Tennessee.
The issue was tabled until this month’s board meeting on Nov. 16. The TEL board said in the past it would refrain on items the SWAC would like to handle, so it is worth watching to see if the soon-to-be regulator wants to address this itself.