- Rhode Island has nearly tripled its sports betting revenue for the fiscal year with $18.7 million made in 2020.
- In 2019, the state brought in only $6.9 million, showing a spike for the market in popularity.
- The gaming industry is the third-largest source of revenue for the Ocean State.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Rhode Island’s revenue from sports betting has surged as reports have surfaced for the closeout of their 2020 fiscal year which ended on June 30.
In all fairness, their 2019 records only covered eight months of being in business. But with the Coronavirus Pandemic impeding sports betting activities since March, the amount of time for year-on-year comparisons balances out making this a winning year for the gaming industry in the Ocean State.
The legal sports betting market brought in $18.7 million in revenue for the year, almost tripling the 2019 numbers that tallied at $6.9 million.
Spike In Revenue For Rhode Island
After launching its sports betting market in 2018, Rhode Island was projecting to gain $11.5 million from the industry. Four months in, they cleared a paltry $150K.
At the time, sportsbooks were only available at the two Twin River casinos in the state. It was at that point that legislation was brought to light to allow mobile sports betting to enter the market.
In early September of 2019, mobile sports wagering platforms launched which helped profits to rise beyond that of 2019 for the gambling industry. The Rhode Island Lottery recently released its revenue report for the year, showing that there was a 171% increase in revenue from 2019 to 2020.
There was also a combined (mobile and retail) $200.2 million bet on sporting events resulting in a 56% growth from 2019.
Almost $50 million was bet on sports through mobile platforms, with a revenue of $3.8 million being made after payouts. At an $18.7 million for the year revenue total, the Ocean State surpassed their original estimates of a market that would bring in $11.5 million.
However, their mobile sports betting profits were lower than expected as many gamblers were dissuaded to join due to having to first sign up for an account in person at one of the two casino locations.
This is no longer the case as Governor Gina Raimondo signed House Bill 8097 and Senate Bill 2919, companion bills that would get rid of in-person registration for mobile sportsbooks in July.
The new law will allow sports bettors in the state to open up online and mobile accounts from home, as many are still wary to go to casinos at this time. Sports bettors can begin to join these platforms beginning in August, well before the start of the NFL season.
What Will Sports Betting Revenue For Rhode Island Look Like Now?
While the report shows positive progress in the right direction for sports betting revenue, it is expected to become even better now that people can engage in mobile sports wagering on the games without first needing to go somewhere to do it.
The timing of the bills passing into law was a calculated act in order for the Ocean State to capitalize on major league sports coming back after being on hiatus because of COVID-19. And with NFL season around the corner, bets should be flowing in, along with revenue that Rhode Island is hoping for.
Senator Dominick Ruggerio believes the amount of revenue is dependent on how many people choose to join the mobile sports betting applications but he’s happy gamblers of Rhode Island now have an alternative to participating in the activity.
And with the Coronavirus Pandemic causing such huge deficits in state budgets nationwide, the more people to join this application in Rhode Island to bet on the games the better, as any kind of revenue is welcome.
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.