2020 may be coming to a close, but sports betting in Tennessee is just getting started.
What better way to ring in the new year than by counting down some of the top moments from the Volunteer State’s short time in the legal sports betting universe?
1. Tennessee sports betting launches on NFL Sunday
Tennesseans welcomed sportsbooks with open arms on Nov. 1, the state’s first official day of legal wagering.
Sports betting debuted on a Sunday – more specifically, on NFL Sunday Week 8. The Tennessee Titans faced off against the Cincinnati Bengals and suffered a 31-20 loss.
The game was FanDuel’s most bet on event in Tennessee that day. And the majority of those wagers favored Tennessee to win. A substantial 81% of the game’s moneyline bets were placed on the Titans.
As a result, operators took in a big payday from Tennessee’s defeat. What sportsbooks won from the game, however, ultimately went back into the pockets of bettors in the form of odds boosts and promotions.
2. Sportsbooks hand out generous promotions
As part of the launch day celebrations, DraftKings offered a no brainer boost of +100 for Tennessee to score at least a touchdown against the Bengals.
FanDuel ran an even more enticing bonus, paying +100 if the Titans logged a minimum of three points.
Despite Tennessee’s loss, the team still managed to score 20 points, allowing bettors to cash in on both promotions.
Operators have continued to dish out bonuses, giving away free bets and serving up wild boosts the past few months.
The biggest of these promos came during the Thanksgiving holiday and Christmas season.
Attentive bettors have been able to uncover bonuses for all major Tennessee-related events.
3. FanDuel spreads the love
Judging by initial revenue numbers, Tennessee’s sports betting market offers plenty of room for each sportsbook to find success. Naturally, that didn’t stop operators from competing for more than their fair share of the market.
Sportsbooks were quick to begin establishing customer loyalty through over-the-top incentives and odds boosts.
FanDuel went above and beyond, issuing its unique Spread The Love promotion two weeks in a row. The first came for the Kentucky Wildcats football game against the Vanderbilt Commodores.
The boost left Vanderbilt with a +86.5 spread at kickoff. At -110 odds, bettors who wagered $50 on the bonus walked away with $95.45.
The next boost came as a +126.5 spread on the Tennessee Volunteers to cover versus the Auburn Tigers. Resulting in over a $1 million payout to participating customers.
4. Operators feud on social media
Tennessee sportsbooks began vying for top position as soon as they left the starting gate on Nov. 1.
Local startup Action 24/7 may be the youngest Tennessee operator, but it has certainly given the industry giants a run for their money.
First, BetMGM issued a cease and desist letter to Action 24/7, accusing the company of trademark infringement. The claim came after a tweet was posted from professional wrestler Jerry “The King” Lawler’s account crowning him “The real king of sportsbooks”.
Most recently, Action 24/7 threw some playful jabs at Tennessee’s big-name operators. DraftKings then took the bait.
Action’s next cheeky comment was the cherry on top, calling further attention to the fact that DraftKings is a national conglomerate whose closest office is located in Boston, Massachusetts.
5. BetMGM incorporates enhanced responsible gaming initiatives
The overwhelming success of the Tennessee sports betting launch also comes with a lot of responsibility, especially in regards to responsible gambling.
As a state with limited legal gambling, Tennessee’s gambling addiction resources are minimal. In order to provide optimal support for customers, sportsbooks are beginning to supplement these efforts.
BetMGM is leading the national march for enhanced responsible gaming initiatives. In early December, the sportsbook partnered with GVC to introduce PlayPause, a form of adaptive technology that allows bettors to customize betting restrictions to their particular needs.
Instead of a player’s self-exclusion stopping at state lines, the option of self-excluding from particular states or from all states is now available.
This technology augments Tennessee’s current problem gambling resources. With enhanced sportsbook initiatives and state funding, bettors can now wager safer than ever before.