The Tennessee sports betting market is set to gain two new operators, but not in time for the Super Bowl on Sunday. During a special meeting on Friday, both WynnBET and William Hill were approved for sports betting licenses.
All sports betting in Tennessee is done online, and these operators will be able to launch mobile apps soon. These are now the sixth and seventh sports betting options in Tennessee, and these are well-known names in the sports betting industry.
William Hill has already announced a late February launch, but WynnBET has not made any official announcement. TwinSpires was also approved for a sports betting license in January, but it has not yet launched either.
The Christmas Day explosion in downtown Nashville is delaying the launch of at least one operator, but the Tennessee Education Lottery did not announce which company that was. Missing out on offering betting during the Super Bowl is a big blow to each operator, but the market in Tennessee is expected to take off in 2021 and beyond.
Now Seven Options in Tennessee
Once WynnBET and William Hill are officially able to launch sports betting, there will be seven options for sports bettors in the state. When sports betting officially launched, there were just four sportsbooks ready to go.
Some of the biggest names in the sports betting industry currently offer betting in Tennessee, and a local sportsbook has also launched. With so many big names live in Tennessee, it has created some terrific competition, which is good for the sports bettor.
December Handle Sets New Record
The Tennessee sports betting market set industry records with its betting handle during the first full month, and now Tennessee has posted even bigger numbers in December. Sports betting handle in December rose to $180.9 million, a 37.7 increase from November.
Gross payouts also went up by more than 41 percent to $167 million. The state was able to generate more than $3 million in tax revenue during the month of December, which was also an increase from the November figures.
The Tennessee Education Lottery does not give a breakdown of which operator performs the best during a given month.
New Legislation Introduced
Lawmakers in Tennessee are already looking to make changes to the sports betting industry, especially when it comes to where the revenue is sent. Representative David Hawk recently introduced TN HB 48, which calls for 80 percent of all sports betting revenue to be sent to public schools.
Most states in the United States use sports betting revenue for the general fund, but Hawk believes that it would be best used on education in Tennessee. Tennessee would become one of the first states in the US that direct a majority of gaming revenue to education if this bill were to pass.
Officials in Hawkins County have already publicly supported HB 48, but it is unclear how much support will come from other lawmakers.