Rhode Island Sports Betting

  • Rhode Island sports betting handle fell 35.1% from November to December.
  • The state’s two casinos were ordered to shut down from November 29 to December 21.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – While December proved to be a record-breaking month for many states across the country, Rhode Island actually went in the opposite direction.

According to the Rhode Island Lottery report, the state generated a total of $22,770,427 in sports betting handle. While this may seem like a high amount, it was 35.1% drop from November. November reached the all-time record for sports betting handle in a single month in Rhode Island at $35,098,445.

The December handle amounted to $2,533,090 in total revenue which was an even more severe drop-off from November. The previous month’s sports betting revenue amounted to $6,281,321 which was another all-time record for Rhode Island.

While these numbers seem to off from the trends throughout the U.S., Rhode Island had some unique challenges to end 2020.

Why The Steep Decline?

As many may recall, the U.S. was facing a surge in COVID-19 cases due to holiday traveling. As a response, states either closed down or limited the capacity at gaming facilities.

R.I. Governor Gina Raimondo chose to shut down the state’s only two casinos from November 29 all the way to December 21. The large chunk of time lost due to casinos closures is thought to have led to a decline in sports betting handle.

However, the losses in retail sports betting meant a rise in mobile betting. The total handle for online sports betting in Rhode Island amounted to $18,339,059, which was a record for the state.

R.I. Sports Betting Revenue Moving Forward

While legal sports betting took a hit to close out 2020, the beginning of 2021 looks to be a bright one.

NFL Playoff betting occurred in January to go along with the continuation of the NBA season and the start of the NHL season. The College Football Playoff Championship also took place during the month, drawing in more wagers.

To go along with the influx of major sporting events, both casinos are now open again.

Both Twin River casinos are operating at limited capacity and at limited hours. The casinos are ordered to close at 10 p.m. EST Sunday through Thursday and 10:30 p.m. EST Friday and Saturday. Despite these COVID-19 protocols, just having retail sports betting is expected to increase Rhode Island’s sports betting handle.

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