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Tennessee’s sluggish summer sports wagering performance has continued into August, but analysts have expressed optimism, predicting a rise in September.
During the first 31 days of August, bettors put $144.5 million in wagers, matching July’s 2021 low ahead of the year’s busiest four-month stretch.
The pace of betting stayed at $4.7 million per day in August, according to data released by the Tennessee Education Lottery and Sports Wagering Advisory Council, which was unchanged from one month earlier.
Gross gaming revenue fell to $13.2 million in August, down from $15.2 million in July. August’s revenue generated $10.1 million in taxable revenue, resulting in a tax revenue of $2 million.
Nicole Russo, analyst for PlayTenn said: “After an up and down summer, it would’ve been encouraging to see some growth in handle ahead of what is a crucial period in the industry.
“No sport motivates bettors like football, though. And a surge in betting this fall will put an end to the slower summer months.”
In August, just a few college football games were played, and none of them were of local interest. The NFL schedule was considerably more limited, with only three preseason games, three of which were against the Tennessee Titans.
However, in 2020, a year plagued by the months-long suspension of major sports, 60.2 percent of the money wagered legally in the United States was wagered between September and December. This period accounted for 50.8 percent of all legal wagers in 2019.
Eric Ramsey, analyst for the PlayUSA said: “This is the most important time for the industry, but we still don’t know for certain how bettors in Tennessee will engage over a full football season.
“It seems like a safe bet that wagering on football will likely represent a greater share of Tennessee’s annual handle than the national average.”
The addition of Barstool Sportsbook to Tennessee’s mix of operators in August coincided with the start of the NFL season. Wagr, a new social sports betting brand that is set to start during the current NFL season, was also licenced by regulators.
“College football and the NFL aren’t just important in terms of the wagers they generate, they also represent the greatest opportunity for sportsbooks to grow their customer base,” Russo added.
“The result is aggressive promotions from established operators, and new operators scrambling to launch before kickoff.”