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Rhode Island sports betting revenue plummets 42% in February


Rhode Island saw a 42% drop in sports betting revenue for February, the month before igaming went live in the state.

Rhode Island reported $2.9m (£2.3m/€2.7m) in sports betting revenue for February, significantly down on the $5m accumulated in January. February’s revenue also fell 19.4% short of the same month last year, when the Ocean State accumulated $3.6m in revenue.

The state’s February handle also declined by 13.4%, down to $38.8m from $44.8m in January. Additionally, Rhode Island’s handle dropped year-on-year, with February’s total 10% behind the $43.1m accepted in bets in the same month last year.

Online continues to command the most interest with $30.4m in handle, 78.4% of the total. Online operators paid out $30m in winnings.

Of the $8.4m in bets received by retail, Twin River led the way with $6m, while Tiverton Casino took $2.4m in wagers. Despite the large disparity in handle, Tiverton Casino actually accumulated more revenue, generating $288,000 to Twin River’s $206,000.

Through eight months of the year, Rhode Island sportsbooks have garnered $305.9m in handle and $26.7m of revenue, with these totals falling 18.6% and 30.1% behind respectively when compared to the same period in the state’s 2022 financial year.

Rhode Island igaming now live through Bally’s monopoly

On 5 March, Rhode Island became the seventh US state to launch igaming, almost eight months after legalisation first went through on 22 June 2023. Players can now play slots and table games via desktop or an iOS mobile app.

Bally’s Corporation already had a land-based casino monopoly in Rhode Island. Now, after the state’s governor, Dan McKee, signed Senate Bill 948 into law, Bally’s monopoly in the state has effectively been extended into igaming.

In 2021, state legislators voted to approve a law that provided Bally’s and its IGT gaming supplier with a 20-year no-bid contract to run both of the land-based casinos in the state: Bally’s Twin Rivers Lincoln Casino Resort and Bally’s Tiverton Casino & Hotel.

To support the launch of igaming in the state, Bally’s constructed a 4,000sq ft Live Dealer Table Games studio at Twin Rivers.

Regulation in Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Division of the Lottery is regulating igaming in the state. The division currently oversees the two Bally’s casinos in the state. The activity will be under the supervision of the organisation’s director, Mark Furcolo.

The text of the law gives the director the power to develop “reasonable” rules and regulations for igaming.

The law outlines that geolocation technology is to be used to ensure players are physically in the state. However, it also states certain circumstances when a player is permitted to bet out of state. The law authorises this to take place when the Rhode Island Division of the Lottery has entered into a reciprocal agreement with another state regulator.

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