• A report stated that Rhode Island will only make $2.3 million from sports betting this year.
  • The original estimate from Governor Gina Raimondo was about $24 million.
  • The lawsuit over mobile sports betting could further impact revenue projections.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Rhode Island is expecting to miss original projected sports betting revenue by over $20 million.

Governor Gina Raimondo predicted that the state would collect $24 million in sports betting tax revenue in the first year. She adjusted her predictions to now be around $11.5 million. A report released on March 12 by Christiansen Capital Advisors said it will be even less than that.

The report said that Rhode Island would only collect $2.7 million this fiscal year. Raimondo at first said the state would collect $2 million a month.

Big Events Not Helping

Large events not meeting expectations are a key factor to the fiscal troubles. During the Super Bowl, the casinos lost $900,000 because of the Patriots winning. This is because Rhode Island is part of the New England region and many gamblers tend to bet on their home team.

March Madness was also a lackluster event for Rhode Island sportsbooks. The state only collected $775,000 from March Madness bets. This is far off the mark from Raimondo’s projected $2 million a month.

Adjusting For The Future

Officials are adjusting what they think is possible for sports betting in Rhode Island. The original projection for the next fiscal year starting July 1 was $30 million. More realistic predictions right now are showing it will be around $14.8 million.

But there is room for growth. The report shows that Rhode Island sports betting should be on a steady incline. The report states that in 2021, Rhode Island will earn $26.8 million. By 2023, it will be up to $29.3 million.

One of the key factors for this increase is due to mobile sports betting. States like New Jersey have shown that mobile sports betting is necessary to meet revenue expectations. A February report from the New Jersey Division of Gaming shows why.

Mobile Sports Betting Could Help

The report shows that 80 percent of New Jersey’s sports betting market is through a mobile device. Rhode Island had started with only having retail sports betting. But Governor Raimondo recently signed a bill that allows for mobile wagering.

By signing up at a retail sportsbook, bettors will be able to place a sports bet using their mobile device. But a lawsuit could completely dismantle sports betting in Rhode Island.

Former members of the Rhode Island Republican Party have sued the state over legalizing mobile sports betting. The lawsuit also says that sports betting in Rhode Island is unconstitutional. This is because it was not legalized by a voter referendum. If they are successful in their lawsuit, this could end sports betting in Rhode Island.

For now, mobile sports betting is still legal. The mobile sportsbooks are expecting to launch by the start of NFL season. The governor and other lawmakers are hoping mobile wagering will give sports betting revenue the boost it needs.

News tags: | |