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While likely looking to surpass its monthly success in December, Rhode Island recorded three new state sports wagering records in November. Those numbers included important figures encompassing handle and revenue for the Ocean State.
Rhode Island sports betting numbers moved ahead of November’s figures, beating October’s total handle and mobile handle by approximately two hundred thousand dollars. Amounts that were good enough to score new state records for both the total handle and the mobile handle category. Most significant was achieving a new record for revenue of $6.281 million, smashing the previous mark by almost $2 million dollars. That figure also indicated a 43.2% jump from October.
Mobile betting was up slightly from October showing a $300,000 increase, a 2.2% climb. Comparing the months 2020 vs. 2019, November mobile wagering was dramatically better with an 87.9% increase of almost $9 million. The likely positive difference is reflected in that Rhode Island and its players have now enjoyed over a full year of online wagering with that service beginning in September 2019.
Overall, November 2020 was 11.4% higher than November 2019 with over $35 million in bets collected for the month. The largest share of wagering was done at one of the two Twin River casinos statewide with locations in Lincoln and Tiverton, RI.
These onsite sportsbook locations contributed a total of $19.4 million in handle equaling a revenue of $3.7 million in November. Mobile sportsbooks in the state recorded $15.7 million in wagers with $2.6 million in revenue.
Making the accomplishment more impressive is that Twin River Lincoln and Tiverton have been operating at limited capacity due to COVID-19 protocols. November 2020 casino gaming revenue declined dramatically, especially compared to one-year earlier.
The state should likely report declining figures at both casino locations due to the ongoing COVID-19 mandate in December, however early 2021 offers more promise with the casinos reopening unrestricted and increased in-person wagering expected during the months ahead.
Rhode Island also enjoys the current geographic advantage of having bettors coming over from nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut to wager on sports. At this juncture, it seems that Connecticut will have sports wagering legalized, also allowing for online wagering sometime in 2021. It does not seem apparent that Massachusetts will affirm plans to legislate sports betting this year. However, as we have learned from previous US state actions, those decisions can change quickly.
The most positive news for Rhode Island sports bettors were opportunities given to register for mobile sports wagering remotely through House Bill 8097 and Senate Bill 2919. Since that time in July 2020 when Gov. Gina Raimondo signed the law, Rhode Island sportsbook handle and revenue have grown rapidly each month.
Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.
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