The Tennessee Education Lottery released its sports gaming report for the month of May, revealing that bettors wagered $160.9 million during the 31-day timespan.
It is the state’s lowest betting haul since sports betting was legalized in November, but similar dips were seen nationwide. After the Super Bowl ends and March Madness comes to a close, the sports betting season slows down.
FanDuel and BetMGM once again came out on top in the competition for the most popular betting brand.
These two Tennessee online sportsbooks continue to battle each month for top marketshare.
FanDuel reigns as top Tennessee sportsbook (for now)
In April, BetMGM TN and FanDuel Tennessee duked it out for the title of the top sportsbook, and the competition continued in May, with the race being closer than ever.
FanDuel ultimately took the lead this go around by an exceptionally narrow margin. Bettors wagered $81 shy of $57 million at FanDuel in May. And BetMGM’s numbers came in barely below that.
Bettors at BetMGM wagered just $127 less than those at FanDuel.
DraftKings ranked third yet again this month, pulling in almost $40 million in wagers.
The state’s other four licensed operators fell a long way from the millions in gross wagers seen by Tennessee’s top trio of performers.
William Hill took in $4.8 million and Action 24/7 saw $1.5 million in handle.
TwinSpires and WynnBET round out that list, generating barely more than $700,000 each in wagers.
Sportsbooks see decline in May wagers
Out of the $160.9 million total wagers placed during May, $145.5 million went back into players’ pockets as earnings. Operators gathered $13.7 million in adjusted gross income, $2.7 million of which the state accumulated as its required 20% monthly privilege tax.
Hold for the month of May calculates to 8.5%, up slightly from April’s 8.4% hold.
The state’s overall handle marks a decline of 6.7% from April, which saw $172.4 million in wagers. Tennessee hasn’t seen a monthly handle this low since November 2020.
The inaugural month of sports betting kicked off with a $131.4 million handle.
The slump in Tennessee sports betting revenue and handle is hardly a surprise. Sportsbooks across the country have been experiencing the same trend.
In many states, like Tennessee, football is the pinnacle for sporting events and wagering.
The Tennessee Titans acquired receiver Julio Jones in the offseason, which resulted in a momentary spike in futures betting. Otherwise, sportsbooks have had to rely on basketball, hockey, and baseball as revenue generators.
May saw playoff action from both the Memphis Grizzlies and the Nashville Predators, but both teams struggled to hang on, ultimately falling out of the running in the preliminary rounds.
Olympics betting might generate a tad more wagering activity in the upcoming slow months, but for the most part, sportsbooks are waiting it out until the fall.
Tennessee bettors hit $1 billion winnings milestone
Tennessee became the quickest state to surpass $1 billion in wagers in April. Now, bettors have wagered over $1.2 billion at Tennessee sportsbooks over the course of the last seven months.
This month, the state passes yet another billion-dollar landmark. Of that substantial $1.2 billion wagered, Tennessee bettors have received over $1.1 billion back in the form of winnings.
The remaining $106 million of that sum was logged by sportsbooks as adjusted gross revenue. The state then took its 20% share, amounting to $21.1 million in tax revenue in seven months.
Average hold for the year amounts to less than 9% – a far cry from the state’s annual hold requirement of 10%.
June is expected to be another moderate month when it comes to betting.
Although NCAA baseball saw month-long play from two Tennessee-based teams, College World Series betting is not a major market for sportsbooks.
Otherwise, the state’s other wagering options included the French Open, US Open, Stanley Cup Finals, NBA Finals and beginning stages of the Tour de France.