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Rhode Island collects decent sports betting revenue for a small market, but is there room for further growth?

The Ocean State’s fortunes could improve significantly if the state were to allow additional online sportsbooks operators.

Let’s take a detailed look at Rhode Island’s sports betting revenue reports. You can also scroll back in time to see the growth of the industry. Read on to explore the business of betting on sports in the Ocean State.

Rhode Island Sports Betting Revenue: Month-By-Month Data

Sports Betting Dime monitors the growth of legal sports wagering in America by tallying monthly financial reports provided by each state.

Here’s what each number represents:

  • Handle is the total amount wagered on sports.
  • Revenue reflects the gross gaming revenue kept by sportsbooks after paying out winning bets.
  • Hold percentage shows how much revenue sportsbooks kept as a function of the betting handle.
  • State tax revenue displays taxes collected by the state and local jurisdictions.

The table below shows Rhode Island’s sports betting handle, gross revenue, and resulting hold percentage each month since legalization in November 2018. You can also see the amount of state taxes collected through the sports betting industry.

Month/Year Total Handle Revenue Hold Percentage State Tax Revenue
November 2018 $682,714 $72,997 10.69% $37,228
December 2018 $13,087,999 $957,913 7.32% $488,536
January 2019 $19,051,125 $159,978 0.84% $81,589
February 2019 $20,686,618 -$890,623 -4.31% -$454,218
March 2019 $23,582,716 $1,548,230 6.57% $789,597
April 2019 $16,859,818 $1,970,110 11.69% $1,004,756
May 2019 $18,900,152 $899,165 4.76% $458,574
June 2019 $14,736,667 $2,149,999 14.59% $1,096,499
July 2019 $8,321,947 $827,579 9.94% $422,065
August 2019 $10,060,066 $851,788 8.47% $434,412
September 2019 $22,195,789 $2,516,059 11.34% $1,283,190
October 2019 $28,281,024 $2,457,136 8.69% $1,253,139
November 2019 $31,465,062 $2,745,518 8.73% $1,400,214
December 2019 $31,670,511 $2,571,755 8.12% $1,311,595
January 2020 $26,939,692 $3,279,241 12.17% $1,672,413
February 2020 $28,147,862 $2,323,432 8.25% $1,184,950
March 2020 $8,949,157 $841,767 9.41% $429,301
April 2020 $591,377 $27,381 4.63% $13,964
May 2020 $1,533,114 $163,472 10.66% $83,371
June 2020 $2,032,803 $101,328 4.98% $51,677
July 2020 $6,738,626 $351,425 5.22% $179,227
August 2020 $23,116,965 $1,423,391 6.16% $725,929
September 2020 $31,293,150 $2,352,788 7.52% $1,199,922
October 2020 $34,704,413 $4,388,841 12.65% $2,238,309
November 2020 $35,098,445 $6,281,321 17.90% $3,203,474
December 2020 $22,770,472 $2,533,090 11.12% $1,291,876
January 2021 $39,817,327 $3,717,200 9.34% $1,895,772
February 2021 $34,110,104 $1,555,824 4.56% $793,470
March 2021 $38,583,919 $3,976,140 10.31% $2,027,831
April 2021 $29,040,966 $3,168,532 10.91% $1,615,951
May 2021 $28,252,139 $2,772,910 9.81% $1,414,184
June 2021 $29,468,571 $3,666,029 12.44% $1,869,675
July 2021 $22,095,960 $3,263,276 14.77% $1,664,271
August 2021 $24,042,834 $1,129,859 4.7% $576,228
September 2021 $41,203,997 $4,012,295 9.7% $2,046,270
October 2021 $60,158,844 $3,608,570 6.0% $1,840,371
November 2021 $52,747,831 $6,703,144 12.7% $3,418,603
December 2021 $54,935,498 $1,777,717 3.2% $906,636
January 2022 $58,614,487 $5,228,277 8.9% $2,666,421
February 2022 $42,143,261 $3,566,393 8.5% $1,818,860
Total (since launch) $1,036,714,022
$91,051,247 8.8% $46,436,136

Sports Betting Dime will update this table monthly with the figures provided by the Rhode Island Lottery.

RI Sports Betting Revenue: Annual Figures

The table below displays annual financial figures for RI’s sports betting industry.

Year Total Handle Revenue Hold Percentage State Tax Revenue
2018 $13,770,713 $1,030,910 7.49% $525,764
2019 $245,811,495 $17,806,694 7.24% $9,081,412
2020 $221,916,076 $24,067,477 10.85% $12,274,413

Rhode Island’s sports betting handle declined by about 10 percent in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as you’ll see in the next sections, the industry has rebounded in the Ocean State in 2021.

Latest RI Revenue News

Here’s a quick breakdown of the latest news provided in the Rhode Island Lottery’s sports betting financial reports.

November 2021 – Rhode Island had another strong month of sports betting, with over $52 million in total wagers collected in November. State tax revenue reached new highs this month, coming in at $3,418,603.

October 2021 – It didn’t take long for Rhode Island to break their own monthly betting handle record, as October 2021 saw a total of $60,158,844 in wagers.

September 2021 – Rhode Island set a state record for monthly betting handle in September, reaching the $40 million mark for the first time in a single month.

August 2021 – The total monthly betting handle in Rhode Island increased slightly in August, hitting a total of $24,042,834. However, the net revenue decreased significantly, coming in at $1,129,859.

July 2021 – Rhode Island reports $22 million in wagers for July 2021, its lowest betting handle since July 2020. However, it was a decent month for sportsbooks in terms of the hold rate, with gross revenue above $3 million (14.77 percent hold).

June 2021 – Rhode Island takes in $29 million in sports betting handle in June. The state’s hold rate exceeds 12 percent for the first time since November 2020, marking a strong month for sportsbooks.

May 2021 – Rhode Island reports $28 million in sports bets in May, its tenth straight month with a betting handle of more than $20 million. More than 50 percent of the total was wagered online, while Twin River Casino continues to outpace Tiverton Casino as the Ocean State’s top retail betting location.

April 2021 – Like many other states, Rhode Island saw its betting volume dip in April. The Ocean State reports $29 million in sports bets for the month. May numbers should increase with the NBA and NHL playoffs beginning.

March 2021 – Rhode Island’s monthly betting handle reaches $38 million in March.

February 2021 – Rhode Island reports $34 million wagered on sports in February, the Ocean State’s seventh straight month with a betting handle of more than $20 million.

January 2021 – Rhode Island kicks off 2021 with a new state record in monthly sports betting handle. Just shy of $40 million was wagered on sports, and sportsbooks retained $3,717,200 after paying out winning bets.

RI Market Overview

Before we analyze the numbers, here’s some key information to set the scene for sports betting in Rhode Island. This will be important context for evaluating the market.

State Population (2020 Census): 1,097,379

In-state Pro Teams: None

Launch Date: November 26, 2018

Biggest Monthly Handle: $60,158,844 (October 2021)

Regulator: Rhode Island Lottery

Platforms: Online and retail

Tax Rate: 51 percent

Rhode Island Sports Betting Revenue Insights

Rhode Island is a smaller sports betting market based on its population and lack of in-state professional teams. However, it’s currently outpacing both Washington, DC, which has its own pro teams, and Oregon, which has a much larger population and a couple sports teams. So, Rhode Island is doing some things right, but there’s room for improvement.

Without further ado, here’s what we’ve noticed when examining Rhode Island sports betting revenue reports.

Market Access Restricted

Online betting is available in Rhode Island, but only through a single statewide online sportsbook and betting app conducted by the Rhode Island Lottery. Allowing additional operators to enter the market would likely increase betting volume. More competition between sportsbooks would benefit consumers in the form of better promotions.

That said, RI sports betting revenue is also taxed at a very high rate – 51 percent of gross gaming revenue – which can lead to less attractive odds for sports bettors in the long term. In order to maintain fair odds that keep bettors coming back, we’d like to see the tax rate lowered.

By comparison, here’s what some other smaller states charge operators via taxes:

  • Arkansas: 12.5 percent
  • Iowa: 6.75 percent
  • Mississippi: 12 percent
  • Washington, DC: 10 percent
  • West Virginia: 10 percent

Rhode Island has one of the highest sports betting tax rates in the country, which fills state coffers but does not bode for a healthy, competitive market in the long run. Of course, state legislators are pleased with the $28 million in taxes collected in the first 2.5 years. But for the sake of RI sports bettors, more sportsbooks operating with a lower tax rate would be beneficial.

On Pace for $400 Million in Wagers in 2021

While we recognize there’s changes needed moving forward, the Rhode Island market is performing well to start 2021 and is on pace for its best year yet.

Here’s how RI’s sports betting handle for the first four months of 2021 compares to US sports betting markets with similar populations.

State Betting Handle (January-April 2021) Population Approximate Handle per Capita
New Hampshire $213,291,591 1,377,529 $154.84
Mississippi $198,979,924 2,961,279 $67.19
West Virginia $166,114,008 1,793,716 $92.60
Rhode Island $141,552,316 1,097,379 $128.99
Oregon $113,914,062 4,237,256 $26.88
Washington, DC $57,071,399 689,545 $82.77
Delaware $35,305,599 989,948 $35.66

Rhode Island has a small population, but on a per capita basis, it’s outperforming most other states of a similar size. Looking at the column on the right-hand side, only New Hampshire is performing better, and we’d speculate DraftKings’ brand power has something to do with that. Clearly, Rhode Islanders enjoy betting on sports.

Through the first third of 2021, Rhode Island is on track to take in over $400 million in wagers. There’s a realistic possibility that RI generates more betting handle in 2021 than it did in the previous two years combined. That’s excellent progress, and there’s room to keep growing.

Your Source for Betting in the Ocean State and Beyond

Rhode Island’s sports betting industry has been performing solidly thus far, but the reality is its one of the smallest markets in the United States. Furthermore, revenues could increase if more operators were allowed in the state.

Sports Betting Dime will keep you up to date with the latest sports betting sites in Rhode Island. To further explore how RI compares to other states, check out our state-by-state sports betting revenue tracker.

Have fun and enjoy the action out there!

Author Image

A lifelong athlete and sports fan who’s worked in sports for over ten years, Natalie brings a firsthand perspective and keen interest in sports business to her work. She’s excited to observe and analyze the future of the sports betting industry as it heats up.