March Madness Helps Tennessee Sportsbooks Reverse Fortunes

Published: 28th April 2021
Author: Joe Kizlauskas
Last Updated: 21st April 2022

During last month, March Madness helped Tennessee sportsbooks reverse their fortunes, bringing in more than $200 million in wagers, compared to the state’s first month-over-month downturn in February.

According to PlayTenn analysts, Tennessee’s market took a major step forward in its maturation phase with the addition of two new operators.

Even though it fell short of the mark of $211.3 million set during the NFL playoffs-boosted January, the Tennessee Education Lottery reported that bettors put $205.9 million in wagers in March, up 16.8 percent from $176.3 million in February.

March’s wagers produced $16.1 million in adjusted gross income, up 23.8 percent from February’s $13 million and only surpassed January’s $21.8 million. The flurry of activity in March produced $3.2 million in state taxes.

Beginning to normalise

Jessica Welman, lead analyst for said: “Tennessee is beginning to normalise after that initial burst, but March is proof that the state is still very much in a period of significant growth.

“Locals have been quick to embrace sports betting, and operators have invested heavily in the market. That has made up for what has been a somewhat rocky road in the state.”

Since November’s launch, Tennessee sportsbooks have produced $905.8 million in wagers, falling just short of being the fastest US state to hit $1 billion in lifetime handle.

‘Foundation of market remains strong’

Nicole Russo, analyst for said: “Even with the early knockout of Tennessee, the state’s lone representative in this year’s NCAA Tournament, March Madness was still a huge draw.

“It has been an interesting ride so far in Tennessee, but the foundation of the market remains strong.”

The TEL’s decision to suspend Action 24/7 in March, which was then restored a week later with a court-ordered injunction, wasn’t without controversy.

In March, two new operators debuted at the same time that Action 24/7 was temporarily suspended. In Tennessee, William Hill and TwinSpires joined DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Action 24/7, bringing with them two well-known brands.

Market leaders

Although Tennessee does not release data on individual operators, analysts agree that the three market leaders, DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM, are in a tight chase for the top spot. It’s still too early to say if one of the state’s two newcomers would be able to gain substantial market share.

“William Hill and TwinSpires have the potential to shake up the market a bit, but it will be difficult for either of them to displace any of the top three operators in the market,” Russo said. “Still, it is a sign of an increasingly robust market that new operators are launching, and we expect more to come before the kickoff of the 2021 NFL and college football seasons.”

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About Joe Kizlauskas

Joe is a seasoned iGaming copywriter and speaker who has been in the business since 2015. He's written more words on all elements of iGaming than he likes to remember, and he's contributed material to a number of well-known brands. Joe may be seen playing 5 a side, at the gym or playing games on his Playstation when he is not writing.