When you sign-up through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more >

New Study Claims Sports Betting in Rhode Island Won’t Meet Long Term Estimates

Sports betting in Rhode Island has had a bumpy start, to say the least.

First, in March, the state received news that sports betting revenue was around 40% of original estimates.

Governor Gina Raimondo’s budget called for $2 million a month in tax revenue from wagering, but even with a surge of interest due to March Madness, the state only saw $775,000.

So, not only have early returns been disappointing, late last week, a lawsuit was filed claiming the state’s legislature circumvented laws by legalizing sports betting.

The lawsuit claims that the state’s constitution demands that any betting expansion must be approved by voters.

But on the heels of the lawsuit and disappointing returns, comes word of a study completed by Christiansen Capital Advisors, LLC that the state can expect revenues to fall in the coming years.

The study claims that the state can only expect to bring in $2.7 million in revenue by the end of the fiscal year that concludes in July.

This number is a fraction of the original estimate of close to $24 million a year in revenue quoted by Gov. Raimondo’s administration.

The Governor had to scale back estimates in the wake of disappointing returns several months ago with the latest projection standing around $11.5 million.

“CCA would recommend that the State of Rhode Island should prepare for the worst and hope for the best because revenue derived from sports wagering will be inherently volatile producing years of feast and famine,” the study concluded.

The state knows about the “famine” side to that argument when state casinos lost $900,000 in February due to the New England Patriots Super Bowl win.

“In sports wagering, which is focused on a very finite pool of sporting contests and heavily weighted toward championships and certain sports, sports wagering operators can and do lose, sometimes in a big way,” the report said.

The question now for Rhode Island is how they plan to supplement the low revenue figures moving forward.

What Will Rhode Island Do to Boost Revenue?

Despite the grim news by the study, Rhode Island somehow remains optimistic on the future of sports betting in the state.

Officials still believe that the next fiscal year, revenues for the state should exceed $14.5 million.

“We would have liked to have been more on the mark with the estimate, but we’re a new player in a new market and it was off,” Department of Revenue spokesman Paul Grimaldi said.

“All we can do now is recalibrate, and move forward.”

Rhode Island believes that they’ll see a huge surge in revenue from the expansion into online betting at the end of 2019.

“Things are going to go online and mobile across the country at some point, so that’s something that every casino, every state, has to look to address at some point,” Grimaldi said.

But What Other Factors Could Significantly Reduce Sports Betting Revenue in Rhode Island?

Another factor that the Christensen study found to be problematic for the long term wagering revenue growth is the possibility that neighboring Massachusetts and Connecticut could legalize.

If both states pass a sports betting bill, then Rhode Island would, possibly, see a dip in traveling bettors from those two states.

The study puts estimates around $1.3 million in lost revenue each year through 2024 from the two states.

Despite the grim news for the coming years, the study does believe that Rhode Island will see the returns they were hoping for, with estimates reaching $30 million in revenue by 2023.

We've been featured on:
espn logo
reuters logo
cbs-news logo
forbes logo
entrepreneur logo
entrepreneur logo
We only list licensed sportsbooks

© Rebel Penguin ApS 2024 (a subsidiary of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.)

We support responsible gambling. 21+ Only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-Gambler.

WSN.com is run by iGaming Cloud Inc (a Gaming Innovation Group Subsidiary) and is registered with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) under affiliate vendor ID 89744, with the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) under certificate of registration number SWR-000148, approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as a gaming service provider, under certificate registration number 117656-1, possesses a Vendor Minor sports betting license from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (account number 94414163), granted a vendor registration number VR007603-20-001 by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, an interim Sports Wagering Supplier license, under license number SWS 066, issued by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, a sports betting vendor registration, under registration number #100400, issued by the Director of Gaming Licensing and Investigations of the Virginia Lottery to operate in the State of Virginia, and a Vendor Registration issued by the Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.

Advertising disclosure: WSN contains links to online retailers on its website. When people click on our affiliate links and make purchases, WSN earns a commission from our partners, including ESPN and various sportsbooks.