Rhode Island sports betting has hit a new monthly record in November as the state generated $6.3 million in the month for the market. According to the latest figures released by the Rhode Island Lottery, November’s sports betting revenue broke October’s $4.4 million record by a huge $2 million.
The Ocean State increased activity last month, which helped boost the industry. However, despite the huge jump in revenue, November’s total handle only narrowly beat October’s handle and mobile handle. Nevertheless, this was sufficient to set state records in each category.
According to the Lottery, the November total sports betting handle, including retail and mobile sportsbooks in the Ocean State, was $35.1 million, which was up 1.1% from the earlier record set in October ($34.7 million). This November also represents an increase of 11.5% from the last year’s November that posted $31.4 million.
However, the more substantial increase was in sports betting revenue which shattered state records at $6.3 million for the month. The latest revenue figure was 43.2% higher than the earlier record last month in October 2020 and 133.3% higher than was generated in November 2019 ($2.7 million).
Land-Based vs. Mobile Betting
The lion’s share of sports betting handle came from bets placed at the states two land-based sportsbooks. The favorite venue among bettors was the Twin River Lincoln, which processed $14.5 million in bets while drawing $2.5 million. The Twin River Tiverton could generate $1.2 million in revenue from the $4.9 million handle. Both these sports betting venues drew a total of $19.4 million in the state’s overall handle, along with a revenue of $3.7 million in November.
The online sports betting market launched in Rhode Island in September 2019, and the Ocean State is reaping the benefits since then by setting the mobile betting handle record for four consecutive months. In November, bettors wagered $15.7 million on sports events via mobile devices, with online sportsbooks generating $2.6 million in revenue. This is up merely 2.2% from October’s figures, yet the year-on-year comparison was even more considerable, with November 2020 gaining roughly 88% higher than November 2019’s mobile handle of $8.3 million.
How Have We Reached Here?
Rhode Island sports betting was initially limited to two brick and mortar casinos, which restricted the state’s huge potential. In September 2019, the Twin River branded online sports betting app launched in the Ocean State which helped the industry gain more momentum in the state. However, upon the app’s launch, in-person registration was required.
In July 2020, Gov. Gina Raimondo signed into law an amendment to allow residents to complete their mobile account registration remotely without bothering to visit a casino in-person. With the signing of HB 8907 into law, Rhode Islanders can now register for their online sports betting accounts from anywhere in the state. This has been pivotal to the industry’s success, especially since the COVID-led measures saw a temporary shutdown of the state’s casinos between November and December, meaning mobile sports betting was the only option.
Since the new financial year to November, Rhode Island’s total market revenue totaled to $14.8 million from the $131 million wagered during the last five months.
The Way Forward!
Though the casino closures between November and December could negatively impact the December handle, the Rhode Island sports betting industry is likely to bounce back in 2021. However, much depends on the mobile betting activity in the Ocean State. For now, more focus among bettors will remain on online wagering as the casinos are expected to close again due to the virus.
Online betting is understandably more convenient for bettors, and it’s effectiveness and viability has only increased amid the pandemic. The Ocean State will also continue to benefit from bettors in Massachusetts and Connecticut as both the states have yet to legalize the industry. With these things considered, the future looks bright for Rhode Island’s sports betting market.