Tennessee Council Approves Renewal Of Licenses For First 4 Online Sportsbook Operators

Image Credit: PlayTenn.com & Thomas R Machnitzki / CC

The Center Square [By Jon Styf] –

The Tennessee Sports Wagering Advisory Council approved the renewal of the licenses of the state’s four initial operators — FanDuel, BetMGM, DraftKings and Action 24/7 — at its Monday meeting.

The approvals came without questions from the council after Executive Director Mary Beth Thomas introduced the groups, saying that no surprises should come in the renewal process since the state group works so closely with the operators on a regular basis.

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The state currently has 11 active sportsbook operators with BallyBet and Fubo Sportsbook approved but not yet operational.

The group also approved the renewal licenses of nine companies that work with the operators, termed vendors in state rules, at the meeting.

Since online sports gambling in Tennessee began in November 2020 with the four initial operators, $5.27 billion has been wagered legally in the state while Tennessee has collected $78.7 million in taxes on those wagers.

The $8.7 million in taxes collected for September wagers were a new record for the state, with the previous high being $5.9 million collected in November 2021.

Tennessee collects 20% of the industry’s net operator revenue in taxes. Of the sports gambling taxes, 80% of the taxes collected from sports gambling goes to education, 15% goes to the state for distribution to local governments and 5% goes toward mental health programs.

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Thomas told the group that football season always has a large impact on the wagering numbers. The University of Tennessee football team is currently ranked No. 3, behind Ohio State and Georgia in The Associated Press’ Top 25 college football poll while the Tennessee Titans are 4-2 and in first place in the AFC South following Sunday’s win over the division-rival Indianapolis Colts.

Tennessee saw an increase from $257.3 million in wagers placed in September 2021 compared to $336.9 million placed in September 2022. October ($375.3 million) and November ($365.7 million) were the top two wagering months of 2021 in Tennessee.

About the Author: Jon Styf, The Center Square Staff Reporter – Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies. Follow Jon on Twitter @JonStyf.

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