Rhode Island has published the financial performance of its regulated sports betting market for the month ending July 31st 2020.
Overall operator revenue represented a significant increase compared to June, no doubt helped by the return of numerous major US and global sporting events.
Player spending also rose significantly month-on-month, a positive sign when registration will soon become easier for them.
Despite the positives, however, both sportsbook revenue and player handle were lower than had been the case in July 2019.
Positive signs, though there is still a long way to go for sports betting in Rhode Island
Licensed sports betting in Rhode Island generated $351,425, which was 246.8% higher than had been the case in June 2020. During that month, sportsbook income came in at a meager $101,328.
Player wagering also rose significantly. Sports fans in Little Rhoddy betted a total of $6.7 million between them, which was 236.7% higher than had been the case in June.
Mobile was a particularly popular medium to players to wager from, with $4.4 million being placed on such devices. This represented 65.4% of the state’s overall handle when all mediums are put up against one another.
Maybe the popularity of mobile betting was due to its convenience, though casinos operating at a limited capacity could also have helped. Since they were allowed to reopen in June, the state’s venues have also been told to operate at limited hours to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Betting on sports will soon become easier for players yet to register for an account
Ever since Rhode Island’s sports betting market launched last year, players wishing to register for a mobile sports betting account have had to complete the process at a land-based casino. However, that is going to change very soon.
In late July, State Governor Gina Raimondo approved legislation that will remove the in-person sign-up requirement. Therefore, individuals will soon be able to create accounts from wherever they are and begin wagering. However, they will need to be based in the state before they can bet.
This is likely to lead to a more prosperous sports betting market in Rhode Island. The flaws related to in-person sign-ups aren’t difficult to see – along with the inconvenience of driving to a venue, another weak point was highlighted during the COVID-19 shutdown. Since casinos had to stay shut from March until June, no new players could be registered during this time period. Unlike in Illinois, there was no temporary relaxation of in-person registration rules.
According to the Rhode Island Department of Revenue, 14,000 players have started the registration process for a sports betting account on their phone – but not completed the step of taking time out of their day to visit a land-based venue.
Of all mobile sports betting downloads, only 45% were fully activated (the industry average is 75%).
How did the state’s casinos perform?
Twin River took the most bets out of any land-based casino in the state during July. Players spent $1.8 million here, but also won $1.9 million. A $95,114 subsequently followed.
Tiverton Casino, on the other hand, was able to make a profit. The casino generated $31,928 in retail revenue, with players wagering $527,269 and winning back $488,131. Twin River owns both of the state’s casinos, but could soon be set to cut its personnel down. It’s been reported that 1,300 employees could be laid off at the end of this month, once the furlough scheme ends.