Rhode Island Sportsbook Handle, Revenue Decline in February

Rhode Island Sportsbook Handle, Revenue Decline in February

With one fewer weekend compared to the previous month and a host of bettors wagering on former New England favorite Tom Brady in the Super Bowl, sportsbooks in Rhode Island took a hit in handle and revenue in February.

Handle was down in the Ocean State across the board, with the overall handle of $34.11 million representing a 14.3% drop from January’s $39.814 million, and mobile handle of $17.819 million representing an 18.6% tumble from the month before, according to the Rhode Island Lottery. Both totals were way up, though, from February 2020: overall handle rose 21.2% and mobile a robust 110.5% from their respective amounts 12 months before.

Sportsbook revenue for February was also down in Rhode Island, a drop almost certainly tied to bettors wagering on former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in the Super Bowl, where he led the underdog Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a convincing victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. The Rhode Island sports betting revenue in February of $1.555 million was a 58.1% tumble from January’s $3.717 million. It was also down 33% from the $2.323 million in revenue reported in February 2020.

Rhode Island Sports Betting, February vs. January

Total handle Mobile handleRevenue
Change Down 14.3% Down 18.6% Down 58.1%

Rhode Island Sports Betting Down From Record High

In fairness, Rhode Island sportsbooks had a tough act to follow: Total sports betting handle for January was a record $39.8 million, up 74.9% from the $22.8 million wagered in December 2020. 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. The calendar also offered sportsbooks three fewer days and one fewer weekend in February compared to January, and that helped lead to lower handle in states across the country.

The February numbers were good news compared to December 2020, when both revenue and handle plummeted — 35% and 59%, respectively — because of casino closures related to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the state’s two retail sportsbooks, Twin River Casino in Lincoln led the way with $11.551 million in handle for February, but paid out $11.304 million, leaving revenue of just $247,692 — again, all those Brady backers winning big were a major factor. The sportsbook at Tiverton Casino fared only slightly better, taking in a handle of $4.738 million, paying $4.406 million in winnings and retaining $332,397 in revenue.

Rhode Island became the first New England state to legalize sports betting, doing so in June 2018. Less than a year later, then-Gov. Gina Raimondo signed a bill legalizing mobile sports betting. In July 2020, the state eliminated its in-person registration requirement.

VLT, Table Game Revenue Increases From January

On the video lottery terminal front, Rhode Island saw net terminal income increase to $28.033 million, up 4.3% from the month before. That number was down 36% from February 2020, when casinos took in $43.782 million.

Table game revenue in Rhode Island also rose month-over-month, increasing 28.3% in February to $7.717 million. From a year earlier, though, revenue was 22.8% lower than the $9.994 million reported in February 2020. Twin River collected $5.821 million in net table game revenue in February, while Tiverton brought in $1.896 million.