Rhode Island sees massive gains in its sports gambling market
By Bob Garcia
The state’s sportsbooks are bouncing back relatively well from the COVID-19 pandemic
It was a great idea for states to rely on sports gambling operations to bring in more revenue, considering that most states are still trying to fill the holes in their budgets caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This was certainly the case for Rhode Island, which is reporting an increase in the total betting handle for a second straight month. In August, the handle was reported at $23,116,965, 243% more than what was registered in July.
Two months ago, the sports betting handle was only $6,738,626; however, it was still 231.5% more than what the state recorded in June, which was $2,032,803. It is also true that this year has been quite different from the rest due to the impact the pandemic had on almost all sports, but compared to August 2019, the sports betting handle for last month increased 129.8% from the $10,060,066 a year earlier.
The large difference between the sports betting handle in June and July has to do with the pandemic, as well, because casinos were not allowed to open until June 8, but sportsbooks were closed until July 22. This made August the first full month of operations after the pandemic-related shutdowns. Additionally, mobile sports betting continues to report successes in the state with another solid month in which the total handle was $10,436,956, an increase of 137% compared to July’s $4,402,795 figure. All these numbers were posted on the website of the state lottery, which regulates the market.
For Rhode Island’s coffers, the revenue coming from sports betting in August was $1,423,391, a 305% increase from July’s $351,425 revenue. It is also 67% higher than what was received by the state in August 2019, when it took in $851,788.