The Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL) has announced that its state sportsbooks slipped to their lightest volume month since operations began in November 2020, as bettors found a lack of games to bet on in July.
Despite the NBA finals and the first week of the Olympics happening during the month, sportsbook takings slumped to $144.6m in wagers in July, down 17.2% from $174.5m in June, according to official data released by the TEL and Sports Wagering Advisory Council. The pace of betting fell to $4.7m per day over the 31 days in July from $5.8m per day over the 30 days of June.
However, the poor sales are not expected to last as the NFL and college football return to action this autumn. PlayTenn, the Tennessee gaming market trackers, predict that sales will rise once the football season is back in full swing.
“Even with the NBA Finals and the Olympics this July, there wasn’t nearly as much to engage casual bettors as most any other month of the year,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for the PlayUSA.com network, which includes PlayTenn.com.
“But sportsbooks should quickly erase any declines as those casual bettors return home from summer vacations in August and then begin to turn their attention to football.”
Although July’s sales were disappointing, revenue remained high throughout the summer relative to the slumping volume, leading to $15.2m in gross gaming revenue, down 17.1% from $18.3m in June. As a result, this generated $13.4m in taxable revenue, yielding $2.6m in tax revenue.
“All in all, the summer has gone well for Tennessee’s sportsbooks,” said Nicole Russo, analyst for PlayTenn.com. “An increased win percentage for sportsbooks has helped make up for the loss of volume. In the slower months that’s exactly what operators are hoping to see.”