Rhode Island Faces Uphill Battle To Reach Gambling-Based Profit Goals
Rhode Island’s legal sports betting operation "lost nearly $900,000 in February, falling further behind revenue expectations for the year," according to Patrick Anderson of the PROVIDENCE JOURNAL. February, the fourth month of legalized sports betting in Rhode Island, was "expected to be a bad one for the state and its corporate gambling partners" thanks to the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory. Sports Book Rhode Island lost $2.4M on "Super Bowl bets alone as locals bet on the victorious home team." Since sports betting launched at Twin River Casino last November, it has "brought in $300,265 in total revenue." The state takes "slightly more than half the profit from sports betting." That is "well off the pace needed" to make the $23.5M budgeted by lawmakers for the year ending June 30, and it lags the $11.5M assumed in Gov. Gina Raimondo’s "revised budget put out in January." Raimondo’s budget assumes $30.3M from "sports betting next year" (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 3/30). Meanwhile, the AP's Jennifer McDermott noted other states with legal sportsbooks that launched in the past year "didn't bring in as much in February as they had in preceding months." New Jersey's physical sportsbooks had a "tax bill of negative $6,000 for the month," but the online ones brought the state $1.7M. Overall, most of the states with "newly legal sports betting are on pace to fall short of their revenue projections, but none are lagging as far behind as Rhode Island" (AP, 3/29).