Fall In Sportsbook Revenue Tanks Rhode Island Gaming For October

Written By Derek Helling on December 5, 2023
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It was fall in Rhode Island during October and nowhere was that more apparent than with the state’s legal sportsbooks. Revenue for those online and physical sportsbooks in the state did exactly as the season’s name suggests.

For the state’s two casinos, win from slots and table games held steady during October. Regardless, a solid month for bettors on sports sunk the total impact for Rhode Island in terms of tax revenue for the month.

Rhode Island casinos see numbers fall in October

By and large, October 2023 was a bit of a disappointing month for Bally’s Tiverton and Bally’s Twin River casinos when it came to win from slots and table game play. Revenue from those sources came to $52.4 million, a decrease of more than 5.2% percent compared to October 2022.

Most of that drop came from a decline in table games revenue, which was down almost 11% on its own in a year-over-year comparison. At the same time, the decline in table games revenue was only a fraction of how sportsbooks saw their win shrink.

Rhode Island’s two physical and single online sportsbook accepted over $45.8 million in bets according to the Rhode Island Lottery’s October revenue report. The books won more than $4.5 million of that money.

While that does represent a respectable win rate of almost 10%, October 2022 was a drastically better month for Rhode Island’s sportsbooks. During that month, the sportsbook win was 26.2% higher.

As a result, total gaming revenue from all three of these channels for October 2023 came to $56.9 million. That’s down 7.3% compared to the same figure in October 2022.

Regardless of the lackluster October, the current fiscal year isn’t so gloomy for Rhode Island’s gambling industry so far.

October dip fails to derail Rhode Island gaming

The picture doesn’t look as grim when comparing the first four months of the current fiscal year to numbers from the preceding term through the same period. For example, table games win at the two casinos is actually up marginally in that comparison.

Slot play is only down marginally as well. In fact, the only reason why total gaming revenue for the current fiscal year isn’t ahead of where it was at this point is because sports bettors in the state are faring far better than they did in 2022.

In that category, revenue is down a whopping 38.7% year-over-year building on a downturn in September’s Rhode Island gaming revenue. It’s the primary reason why the grand running total for the current fiscal year is down 3.2% overall.

Thus, if sportsbooks can fare better over the rest of the year, Rhode Island’s gambling industry might have a shot at a record term. On the other hand, more months like October for Rhode Island sportsbooks could put that final figure a long way off the previous standard.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

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