Rhode Island Served a Mixed Bag From August Sports Betting Revenue

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The Rhode Island state flag is seen raised on a flagpole. Picture used for illustrative purposes, under Creative Commons License. Captured by Roger Williams/ Flickr.

It appears that the “dog days of summer” extended to Rhode Island sports betting. Why? The final numbers are in and there is good news and bad news for operators and lawmakers.

First, the good news. Rhode Island made $1.4 million from sports betting in August, but before anyone could celebrate, they realized that this was more than 53% less than what they made in August the previous year and roughly 26% less than what they made in July this year. 

Mobile Bets Lead the Way

Out of this, most of the money ($1.2 million) came from mobile sports betting, while a smaller amount ($144,099) came from in-house bets. Twin River made $234,649, but Tiverton Casino lost $90,550.

In total, people bet $22.5 million on sports in August. This is 19% less than the amount bet in August last year ($27.7 million) but 11.4% more than what was bet in July this year. Of this total, nearly $18 million was bet online and almost $5 million was bet at retail sportsbooks. Twin River received nearly $3 million in bets, and Tiverton Casino took in nearly $2 million.

So far this year, the total money made from sports betting is a little more than $3 million. This is 44% less than the same time last year. The total amount of money bet on sports this year is up to almost $43 million, which is 19.4% less than last year’s $53 million.

Rhode Island Casinos Also Struggle a Bit

Rhode Island’s two main casinos, Bally’s Tiverton and Bally’s Twin River, didn’t see a big increase in money made from slot machines and table games in August. In fact, they made slightly less than they did in August of the previous year.

In August 2023, these two casinos together made nearly $56 million from these games. This was a small change from what they made in July, which was a tiny bit more than July the year before.

So, when you add up what the casinos made in these first two months of the financial year, it’s the same as what they made during the same time last year: about $91 million. This means they haven’t grown, which isn’t great news for the casinos, but at least they aren’t losing money.

However, when you add in the money from sports betting, the overall money made by the state’s gaming business went down a bit.

Will iGaming Help Boost Numbers?

Recently, Rhode Island incorporated online gaming (often called “iGaming”). On June 22, Governor Dan McKee approved a law that lets Bally’s casino also run online gaming.

Gamesys, which is the online part of Bally’s, is now the only company running online games in Rhode Island. They have a few different online gaming sites like Virgin Casino, Tropicana Casino, and Rainbow Riches Casino.

Here’s how the money works: For online slot games, half of the money they make is paid as tax. The rest is shared between Bally’s and International Game Technology (IGT). For table games played online, the tax is lower at 18% of the money they make.

So, it remains to be seen how much of an impact this may have on the state’s gambling revenue in the coming months, but Bookmakers Review will follow the story as it develops.