Rhode Island has recorded its lowest ever sports betting handle at $20.2 million, once COVID-19 impacted months are removed. Without adjusting for COVID-19, it was the lowest in three years.

Due to COVID-19, Rhode Island’s two land-based casinos, Twin River and Tiverton casino were shut from March 14, 2020 through to June 8, 2020 where they were permitted to open but with severely limited capacity, thus impacting March 2020 through July 2020 (limited capacity) sports betting revenue heavily.

Handle was down 19.8% from $25.2 million year-over-year, and 14.8% down month-over-month from June. Rhode Island mobile sports betting comprised 76.2% of total wagering for July. Twin River took $3 million in bets, and Tiverton $1.9 million.

Book revenue for July 2023 was $1.9 million, marginally higher than June’s $1.8 million. It was, however, a marked drop from July 2022’s revenue of $2.9 million. It was a particularly poor month for Tiverton with just 5.8% hold providing the casino with $107,724 book revenue. Twin River achieved hold of 12.6% with $377,754 and Rhode Island online sports betting saw a 9.1% margin.

Operators in the RI market will be hoping that the worst has been and gone. The NFL season is just days away, and with August building up towards it, analysts expect July to be the low-point.

Online casino on its way

When Governor Daniel McKee signed SB 948 into law, Rhode Island online casino became a reality. RI was the sole state to legalize online casino in 2023 legislature. Wider industry interest is not far reaching, however, as Bally’s will hold a monopoly over the product. Combined with the state’s low population, the total addressable market is insignificant compared to other areas.

Online gaming will be regulated by the Rhode Island Department of Revenue, Lottery Division. The agreed tax rate per SB 948 is 50% on online slot revenue, with 18% on internet table games.