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Success of sports gambling seems to be safe bet
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Who would have bet sports gambling would be such a big business in Tennessee?

The state has released figures from its first week of online sports betting and more than $27 million was wagered from Nov. 1 through Nov. 8.

Sports betting was passed by the Tennessee General Assembly in the spring of 2019 in an online-only format. Gov. Bill Lee allowed the bill to become law without his signature. The Tennessee Education Lottery oversees sports gambling.

The state says $5.1 million was wagered on opening day, Nov. 1. To place a bet, you must be at least 21 years old and be physically located in Tennessee at the time the wager is placed. Operators such as DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM take bets.

According to state figures, $27.4 million was wagered Nov. 1-8. The adjusted gross income from those wagers was $2.5 million with $509,000 in tax dollars generated.

Said Tennessee Lottery president and CEO Rebecca Paul Hargrove, “These numbers are encouraging as we work to protect the consumer, promote fairness in sports and regulate this new Tennessee industry that provides critical funds for education, as well as local governments and problem gambling services.”

By state statute, 80% of the tax collected will go to the state treasurer for deposit into the Lottery for Education Account, 15% will go to the state treasurer for deposit into the General Fund to be remitted quarterly to local governments on a per capita basis, and 5% will go to the state treasurer to be allocated to the Department of Mental Health to oversee grant programs for problem gambling treatment.

Since Jan. 20, 2004, the lottery has raised more than $5.6 billion to fund designated education programs. In addition, players have won more than $15.5 billion in prizes, and lottery retailers have earned more than $1.4 billion in commission.