Tennessee sportsbooks witness strong March despite no football

Tennessee’s sportsbooks were able to surpass more than $370m in March wagers thanks to interest in March Madness, according to PlayTenn.
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Tennessee’s sportsbooks were able to surpass more than $370m in wagers during March thanks to bettor’s interest in the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament, according to PlayTenn.

The month’s strong handle was the Volunteer State’s best monthly handle on record that didn’t feature any football games and its third-highest monthly wagering total since the state launched sports betting in November 2020.

“Even without a Tennessee team making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament, sportsbooks were able to beat expectations,” commented Alec Cunningham, Lead Analyst for PlayTenn.com.

“March is the busiest non-football month of the year, and this year’s wagering topped all but the two busiest months of the football season, too. This shows an engaged base of bettors that have an interest that goes beyond the state border.”

Official data released by the Tennessee Sports Wagering Advisory Council states the Volunteer State’s sportsbooks drew a handle of $370.2m in March, up 79.8% year-over-year from March 2021’s $205.9m. The month’s wagers also topped the previous month’s handle by 18.2% (February: $313.3m). 

Sportsbooks won $26.5m in gross revenue during the month, a 47.3% improvement YoY (March 2021: $13.3m) and a 26.6% growth on the previous month (February: $20.9m). Promotional spending adjusted net proceeds came in at $22.8m, yielding $4.6m in tax revenue.

While March is usually a strong month despite there being no football, the state’s basketball team’s performances in March Madness helped out, as the Tennessee men’s team made it to the round of 32, while Lady Vols reached the Sweet 16. Bettors stayed engaged with the tournament following the state’s team’s exits from their respective tournaments as well.

Eric Ramsey, an Analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayTenn.com, added: “The industry is well-positioned heading into the slow season, during which the NBA playoffs, baseball, and major golf tournaments are the main attractions.

“Most importantly, the industry has made a significant leap forward over the last seven months, and should be poised for another jump this fall when football returns.”