Sports Betting Revenue in RI Down in May as Action Rises

Sports Betting Revenue in RI Down in May as Action Rises
By Dave Golokhov

The Rhode Island sports betting revenue numbers are in for the month of May and the results are a mixed bag. The state has two casinos which can take sports bets and while both saw the action on the games rise, their overall hold – or profits – fell.

Rhode Island allows two casinos to offer sports betting, Tiverton and Twin River Lincoln. Combined, their revenues increased to $18.9 million in May, a notable increase over the $16.86 million they reported in April. What’s interesting to note, though, is that the casinos actually held just $899,165 in May, which was a sharp decline from the $1.9 million in April.

Many sportsbooks hope to hold around 5% – at least – so while the 11% they held in April was well above expectations, the 4.7% in May was closer to normal.

Should Rhode Island Casinos Be Concerned?

For the most part, Rhode Island sportsbooks won’t be concerned as long as the action continues to come in, and that’s what we’ve seen month to month. Keep in mind that April produced an all-time high in book revenue for Rhode Island since the state legalized gambling in November in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down PASPA. The revenue drop in May was not unexpected.

Drilling down into the specifics, Twin River Lincoln Casino had $14.63 million in bets placed in May while Tiverton had just $4.26 million. Twin River ended up with $574,703 in revenue for the month and Tiverton earned $324,462.

Overall, the two casinos have now collected $4.7 million in combined revenues since the state legalized sports betting. The casinos have little to be concerned about. By all accounts, they should hit new high watermarks for both action and revenue in the coming months when football gets underway.

Mobile Sports Betting in Rhode Island

The state’s next step in both action and profits is legalizing mobile and/or online betting. As of now, the Rhode Island Lottery only permits bettors to place their wagers in person. But Gov. Gina Raimondo signed a mobile sports betting provision into law on March 25.

As of now, the bill stipulates that players will have to bet through a mobile sportsbook app through Twin River. It’s unclear whether Tiverton – or others – will be allowed to offer the same in the future. Other stipulations are standard procedure – bettors will have to be of age and will have to be physically within Rhode Island. Every state that has legalized sports betting follows those same conditions.

There is no date set yet for a Rhode Island mobile launch but some reports have suggested a launch in the fall. However, the state has already added the projected $3 million in profits from mobile betting to next year’s budget, so that could give an indication. In any case, bettors will have to register in person at one of the brick-and-mortar casinos to place mobile bets.

Rhode Island is currently the only New England state which allows sports betting.

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Dave Golokhov, a veteran journalist and writer for numerous publications and websites, covers casino news for He has a passion for writing about sports, travel, food and casinos.

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