Despite taking in a larger handle than the previous three months, Rhode Island sportsbooks saw a slight dip in sports betting revenue in October. Sports betting in Rhode Island is only permitted at the two Twin River casinos — Twin River Casino in Lincoln and Tiverton — and a single online sportsbook.
Rhode Island sportsbooks broke the state record with $28.281 million in handle, surpassing the $23.582 million in March. However, the bookies also saw a record payout in October of approximately $25.823 million.
All three sportsbooks took in larger handles in October than the three prior months but saw a decline in revenue, typical of the up-and-down nature of Rhode Island sports betting since it was signed into law this spring.
The Twin River sportsbook in Lincoln proved once again it was the most popular venue for Rhode Island sports bettors, taking in a handle of $18.359 million and garnering a record revenue of roughly $1.665 million.
Launched on Sept. 4, the Rhode Island Lottery online sportsbook took in the second highest amount in both handle and revenue of the three for October. What’s most striking in the online figures for October is the huge spike in the handle compared to their debut month.
In September, the Rhode Island mobile sportsbook took in $3.292 million in sports bets. That total increased a whopping 78 percent for October at $5.863 million. The online platform garnered a revenue of $442,686, a decrease from the $512,740 made in September.
The Tiverton Casino sportsbook took in a handle of just over $4 million in October and saw $349,607 in revenue, a decrease from September’s revenue of $438,790.
Combined, the sportsbooks took in a handle of approximately $28.281 million in October, an increase of 27.4% from the $22.195 million garnered in September.
Total revenue for the Rhode Island sportsbooks in October was $2,457,136, a slight decrease from September’s total revenue of $2,516,060.
Though their handle continues to increase, Rhode Island sportsbooks are behind their original projections. Many industry professionals are pointing to the state’s online registration process as one of the primary reasons.
Mobile sports betting increased from the first to the second month but the process for bettors to use the online sportsbook has hindered the action. To use the mobile sportsbook, Rhode Island requires players to register in person at either of the two Twin River casinos, impeding player signup. A trip to either casino is about an hour’s drive for most Rhode Islanders.
As of late October, of the approximate 12,000 online sportsbook applicants, more than 6,000 potential sports bettors have yet to register. It was reported in October that Rhode Island sportsbooks garnered less than half of the $6.9 million in revenue the state budgeted for from July 1 through Oct. 19.
The spike in the handle of the online sportsbook reveals that the mobile platform has helped draw additional sports bettors, though the number of players would likely be significantly larger if the registration process was more convenient for Rhode Island residents.