State lottery officials approved a fifth sports betting operator last week, following the announcement that more than $130 million was wagered in Tennessee’s first month of legal betting.
Churchill Downs is the newest operator, joining BetMGM, FanDuel, DraftKings and Tennessee Action 24/7. The group was approved at the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation’s meeting last week, according to a spokesperson for the authority. Additional applications are pending.
Recently, the lottery reported financial results from November, the first month of legal betting in Tennessee. According to a report, more than $131 million was wagered in Tennessee in November, with the sports books paying out more than $118 million to winners. State tax revenues totaled $2.36 million. Eighty percent of gambling tax revenues go to the lottery’s higher education scholarship fun, fifteen percent goes to local governments and the remainder goes to support gambling addiction programs.
“Our first month of sports wagering in Tennessee comes at a unique time in the world, let alone the sports world,” TEL President and CEO Rebecca Paul Hargrove said in a release. “November’s figures include adjustments and indicate potential. It is only one month in an unpredictable and extraordinary year, making it difficult to begin extrapolating out from this single month. As this new industry in Tennessee evolves, we will continue to work with licensees and registrants in support of a responsible and competitive sports wagering program.”
The Tennessee Journal reported that the lottery overseers also approved an application by payday lender Advance Financial to accept gambling deposits for Tennessee Action 24/7 at its brick-and-mortar locations. Tennessee Action 24/7 was started by current and former Advance Financial executives but the company said upon launch that the two were unaffiliated.