August was a decent month for sports bettors in Rhode Island. Conversely, it was not such a spectacular month for the sportsbooks.
While casinos in Rhode Island maintained their margins, the state’s gambling industry overall was denied what could have been some marginal gains by sports betting. However, better days could be ahead for Rhode Island’s sportsbooks.
Rhode Island casinos keep fiscal year afloat
Rhode Island’s two brick-and-mortar casinos, Bally’s Tiverton and Bally’s Twin River, couldn’t claim any significant wins during August in terms of their revenue from slots and table games. The combined win from those two verticals was marginally down compared to August 2022.
In August 2023, the two casinos combined to post $55.8 million in revenue in those categories. That followed Rhode Island’s July gaming revenue total, which was up by essentially the same slight margin compared to the same month in 2022.
Thus, the almost $91 million in casino revenue from the first two months of the current fiscal year is identical to the sum from the first two months of the 2022-23 fiscal year. A lack of growth is undesirable for the casinos. However, it’s superior to a decline.
The bottom line for the state’s entire gaming industry suffered a little with the addition of sports betting activity.
Rhode Island sportsbooks act as an anchor for August gaming revenue
According to the Rhode Island Lottery’s August revenue report, there was a decline of 54.5% in legal sports betting revenue compared to August 2022. The win total for sportsbooks in August was just over $1.3 million.
Sportsbooks managed to win just 6.1% of the more than $22.4 million bettors gambled. Following a July that also saw a significant year-over-year decline, Rhode Island’s online and physical sportsbooks are now down almost 56% in that comparison for the fiscal year to date.
Most of the disparity in August came at the two land-based sportsbooks inside the casinos. Whereas those books won a combined $1.3 million in August 2022, they claimed just $144,099 from bettors in August of this year.
Comparatively, online betting held relatively steady. That bodes well for the future of the gambling industry, with legal real-online casino games set to launch sometime in 2024. If those games become as popular in Rhode Island as in other states, future Augusts could set revenue records.