As we near the start of the NFL season, Rhode Island casinos have the daunting task of reproducing a stellar fiscal year, which saw the gaming industry produce almost $720 million in revenue.
However, to begin FY2024, casinos in Rhode Island are off to a slow start. In July, all three gaming verticals (slots, table games, sports betting) combined for roughly $59.3 million in gaming revenue.
With NFL betting set to start on Thursday, sportsbooks are in an excellent position to contribute a bit more to the pie. In addition, the industry will see added help coming from the legalization of iGaming.
Rhode Island gambling experienced a slow July
According to the latest revenue report, Rhode Island sports betting was down 19.8% from July 2022. In addition, the $20.2 million in sports betting handle for the month was down 14.8% compared to June.
Table games generated around $11.4 million in revenue, while slot machines carried the bulk of the revenue, generating $46 million in revenue in July.
Rhode Island gaming revenue in July by vertical, according to the Rhode Island Lottery’s report:
- Table games: $11.4 million
- Slot machines: $46 million
- Sports Betting: $1.9 million
Newly legalized online casinos to boost Rhode Island’s gambling revenue
In addition to the 2023 NFL season, Rhode Island will receive support from the legalization of online casinos.
On June 22, Governor Dan McKee signed Senate Bill 948 into law, allowing Bally’s to enter the online casino market. The company’s online gaming arm, Gamesys, becomes the sole operator active in the state.
Per iGaming law, there is a 50% tax on online slot machine revenue, with the remaining divided between Bally’s and IGT. Online table games will be taxed at 18%.
The Rhode Island Lottery will oversee the newly established online casino market and regulate Bally’s two casinos.
Those hoping for online casino games to appear instantaneously in Rhode Island must be patient. It remains to be seen when online casino games will launch on the Bally’s mobile app.
As a result, Tiverton and Twin Rivers will continue to represent the vast majority of gaming revenue in Rhode Island.