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March Madness boosts Tennessee sportsbooks last month

19 Apr 2022

(PRESS RELEASE) -- March Madness put a charge into Tennessee’s sports betting industry, pushing wagering to more than $370 million in what was the best month for the state in a month without football, according to PlayTenn, which tracks the Tennessee gaming market.

“Even without a Tennessee team making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament, sportsbooks were able to beat expectations,” said Alec Cunningham, lead analyst for “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.”

Tennessee’s sportsbooks drew $370.2 million in wagers in March, up 79.8% from $205.9 million in March 2021, according to data released Tuesday by the Tennessee Sports Wagering Advisory Council. March also topped February’s $313.3 million handle by 18.2% and marked the third-highest monthly wagering total since Tennessee launched sports betting in November 2020.

Sportsbooks won $26.5 million in gross revenue from March’s wagers, up 47.3% over the $13.3 million in March 2021 and up 26.6% over sportsbooks’ $20.9 million win in February. Promotional spending adjusted net proceeds to $22.8 million, yielding $4.6 million in tax revenue.

March is typically the strongest month for sportsbooks outside of the football season, and offers one last boost before slowing through the summer. And sportsbooks did get some local help. Tennessee’s men’s team made it to the round of 32, and the Lady Vols reached the Sweet 16.

But bettors remained engaged after Tennessee’s basketball teams had exited their respective tournaments, a good sign for the months ahead.

“The industry is well-positioned heading into the slow season, during which the NBA playoffs, baseball, and major golf tournaments are the main attractions,” said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the Network, which includes “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.”
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