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RI sports betting revenue reaches $18.7m in FY2020


Rhode Island’s legal sports betting market generated $18.7m in revenue during the state’s 2019-20 financial year, despite the final four months of the period being impacted by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Total revenue for the 12 months to June 30, 2020, was up 171.0% year-on-year, though the $6.9m recorded for the 2018-19 fiscal year only covered an eight-month period, with legal betting launching in November 2018.

Consumers wagered $200.2m on sports in FY2020, up 56.9% on last year, while player winnings also jumped from $120.7m to $181.5m.

Mobile betting revenue amounted to $3.8m, and as legal mobile wagering only launched in September 2019, there are no year-on-year comparable figures. Players wagered some $49.8m via mobile in FY2020.

Twin River’s Lincoln and Tiverton brick-and-mortar casinos are the only two retail locations approved to operate in Rhode Island, with the Lincoln site ending the year some way ahead of its sister casino.

Revenue at the Lincoln casino totalled $11.9m, up 124.5% year-on-year, with players having spent $120.1m on sports betting.

In contrast, the Tiverton casino generated $3.0m in sports betting revenue, an increase of 87.5% on last year, as players wagered a total of $30.2m.

Meanwhile, the Rhode Island Lottery also released figures for June, with these showing ongoing struggles as the state continued to feel the impact of Covid-19, with revenue falling both month-on-month and year-on-year.

Revenue for the month amounted to $101,328, down 95.4% from $2.2m in June 2019, while the total was 38.0% lower than the $163,472 recorded in May this year.

Players wagered $2.0m during the month, 86.4% less than last year, but up from $1.5m in May this year, while consumers took home a total of $1.9m in winnings from sports bets.

Mobile betting was the only source of revenue for operators active in the state, with this amounting to $169,261. Players bet $2.1m via mobile and won $1.9m.

There are no comparable figures for mobile as this did not launch in the state until September 2019, but on a month-on-month basis, mobile revenue was p marginally from $162,408 in May.

Retail sportsbooks partially reopened on June 8, after a period of closure that stretched back to mid-March due to the pandemic. However, both Twin River sites in Lincoln and Tiverton are operating at limited capacity, in line with state regulations aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19.

The Lincoln casino posted a loss of £39,196 for the month, while the Tiverton site also recorded a loss of $28,737. These combined losses pushed overall sports betting revenue in the state down for June.

However, the state could be set for a boost in the coming months, with a bill to remove the in-person registration requirement for bettors in Rhode Island having passed the state legislature last week.

If approved, Amendment H 8097 will allow online gaming patrons to set up and use their sports betting accounts from outside physical gaming facilities, removing the need to visit a venue in-person to complete player registrations.

It will still require that the physical location of players is determined before bets can take place, however.

The bill is awaiting signature from Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo.