Rhode Island Sets Sports Betting Handle Records in January

Rhode Island Sets Sports Betting Handle Records in January

Bettors in Rhode Island continued to embrace sports wagering at a record rate in January, leading to all-time highs in both mobile and total handle.

The Ocean State’s total sports betting handle for January was a record $39.8 million, up 74.9% from the $22.8 million wagered in December 2020. The Rhode Island mobile sports betting handle was also a record of $21.9 million in January, up 19.3% from the $18.3 million bet in the previous month, according to the Rhode Island Lottery.

The increase over December in total handle was not unexpected, given that Rhode Island’s two licensed retail casinos were closed from Nov. 29 to Dec. 21 because of coronavirus concerns and they experienced precipitous drops in handle and revenue as a result. But the January 2021 numbers also represented a huge increase from January 2020, with total sports betting handle up 47.8% and mobile sports betting handle up a massive 180.6% from a year earlier.

Rhode Island Sports Betting Revenue Also Rises

Sports betting revenue in Rhode Island increased as well, rising 46.7% from $2.5 million in December to $3.7 million in January. The William Hill sportsbook at Twin River Casino in Lincoln reported $1.032 million in gross revenue for January, up from just $64,027 in December. The book at Tiverton Casino reported $539,924 in gross revenue for January, compared to $237,676 the month prior.

The state’s January sports betting revenue was also up 13.4% from the $3.279 million collected in January 2020. The $2.144 million in mobile sports wagering revenue that Rhode Island collected in January represented 57.6% of the state’s total sports gambling revenue for the month. Likewise, mobile wagering comprised 55% of the state’s total sports betting handle in January.

Rhode Island Sports Betting January vs December

Total handle Mobile handleRevenue
ChangeUp 74.9%Up 19.3%Up 46.7%

The numbers continue an upswing for Rhode Island sports betting that was interrupted by the late November shutdown, which came on the heels of a month where the state set records for revenue, mobile handle and overall handle. Not coincidentally, those increases followed a decision by Gov. Gina Raimondo in July 2020 to eliminate the in-person registration requirement.

In June 2018, Rhode Island became the first New England state to legalize sports betting, with 51% of revenues going to the state. Less than a year later, Raimondo signed a bill legalizing mobile sports betting.

Casino Gaming Revenue Down Year-Over-Year

Rhode Island also saw January jumps in table game and video lottery revenue compared to December, when retail locations were mostly closed. Net terminal income for video lottery gaming was $26.866 million in January, up 237.2% from the month before. Table games collected $6.016 million in revenue for January, up 236.8% from the previous month.

But those January numbers still represented a drop from 12 months earlier, in pre-pandemic times. The January video lottery revenue was 34.6% less than the $41.098 million collected in January 2020. The January table games revenue at Rhode Island’s two retail casinos was down 36.3% from the $9.440 million collected in January 2020.

Twin River led the way with $19.949 million in net terminal income from video lottery plays in January, while Tiverton collected $6.917 million. In table game revenue, Twin River reported $3.833 million for January and Tiverton collected $1.189 million.