Tennessee’s ‘slow’ playing season doesn’t hamper tax haul

The summer slump isn’t just for TV or bored school-aged kids.

The ever-growing market for legalized sports betting also declines during the summer months. But that’s not because of the holidays per se, as much as the dwindling number of high-profile betting events between the end of NCAA’s March Madness and the start of professional and college football seasons.

“A downturn is inevitable in April without football or a big sports betting party like the early rounds of the NCAA Tournament to lure punters into sports betting,” Alec Cunningham, principal analyst for “PlayTenn.com Alec Cunningham,” said on This site.

“Importantly, the strong year-over-year performance shows that the industry has so far been largely unaffected by headwinds in the economy as a whole,” said continued Cunningham. “But it’s something the sportsbooks will have to watch over the next few months.”

The expectation of slower summer months is commonplace in the world of sports betting.

Tennessee’s late entry into the sports betting arena has not damaged the state‘s revenue from legal betting. The April 2022 “handle” — the total amount of money wagered with legalized sports betting partners in Tennessee — was less than $300 million, which was the lowest monthly total since August 2021.

Yet compared to April 2021, when the shadow of COVID still loomed over every aspect of our daily lives, the growth is staggering. There are nine online operators working with Tennessee regulators this year compared to the four options available in April 2021, and a nearly 70% year-over-year increase is hard to ignore.

According to figures released by the Tennessee Sports Wagering Advisory Council, Tennessees legally bet $292.8 million in April 2022 after betting $172.4 million in 2021. These nine-figure betting volumes drive revenue eight figures on online sites, which generates seven figure income. tax revenue for the state.

In April, the state’s online partners raised more than $23 million in net proceeds, which generated $4.6 million in tax revenue for Tennessee. This is the latest infusion of a growing pool of funds that the state uses primarily for education (80% goes to K-12 and HOPE scholarship efforts) as well as other projects, including infrastructure efforts (15%) and gambling addiction (5%) .

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger said earlier this spring that he was not aware of any specific Hamilton County infrastructure projects that gambling taxes have been directed towards, but the numbers are increasing. Tennesseans have wagered over $4.3 billion since November 2020, when betting was first made available. The state collected more than $16 million in tax revenue in the first four months of 2022.

Tennessee’s location and the fact that it borders eight states has allowed it to be a betting destination for those just across state lines who don’t have gambling options. bets legalized.

“I drive to Chattanooga and place a bet (on big games like the Super Bowl)” North Georgia resident Pat emailed in response to a question about anyone interested in legally betting on the Super Bowl.

Georgia is one of the states that didn’t get its legislative ducks in a row before the end of the session, which means the Peach State will have to wait at least a year – and probably much longer considering details to be settled – before legalized gambling will be available.

Efforts in Alabama, Missouri and Kentucky have also stalled, meaning interested bettors in those states will no doubt continue to come to Tennessee for legal options.

“It really does feel like Georgia was trying to squeeze too many disparate categories of gambling into the proposed 11th-hour constitutional amendment bill,” says Daniel Wallach, one of America’s most trusted attorneys. prominent in sports betting and the host of “Prejudicial Conduct”. podcast. “The (Georgian) house, in particular, were trying to take too much in a state opposed to the game, and it would have been almost impossible to sort out all the betting issues. [before the legislative deadline].”

Wallach is a co-founder of the University of New Hampshire Law School’s Sports Wagering and Integrity program, the first program of its kind in the nation. As more and more states legalize sports betting – every state in the union except Idaho and Utah has either legalized sports betting or legislated in its house of State on that — Wallach’s experience also points him toward Georgia. But not until next year.

And in the ever uncertain world of sports betting, this is certain: fewer competitors mean more money for the state of Tennessee in the meantime.


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