The Rhode Island sports betting industry had a disappointing month of February, and football was to blame in more ways than one. Both total betting handle and total revenue decreased last month, but it shouldn’t start a trend in the state.
Total sports betting handle for February was $34.1 million, a drop of more than 14 percent from January. The online betting handle also fell by nearly 20 percent, and one less weekend of betting was a contributing factor in the decline.
Total sports betting revenue was just $1.55 million in February after it climbed up to $3.7 million in January. The revenue numbers are more important to the state as the state needs revenue to recover from the ongoing pandemic.
The Twin River Casino was once again the leader in retail sports betting, accounting for $11.5 million of the total handle.
January Was Record-Setting
Despite a disappointing month of February for the sports betting industry, 2021 is off to an excellent start for the state. In January, the total sports betting handle was $39.8 million, easily setting a new record for the state.
The January total was almost a 75 percent increase from December 2020, and NFL football had a lot to do with the jump. Online betting set a record in January as well, with more than $21 million wagered online or through a mobile device.
March should help the state get back on track as the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is always a big event in the sports betting industry. Those numbers won’t be announced until some time in April.
Brady, Bucs Cause Lose For Sportsbooks
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were underdogs against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl, but they had little trouble winning the game. That victory cost sportsbooks all around the country substantial amounts of money, and that was the case in Rhode Island as well.
The two casinos in Rhode Island combined to win just over $550,000 during February as bettors in the state hammered the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Rhode Island sports fans traditionally follow the New England Patriots, and there are still plenty of Tom Brady fans left.
Sportsbooks try to protect themselves from suffering a significant loss on a sporting event, but it was unavoidable with the Super Bowl. Even at 43 years old, it’s hard to bet against Brady in the playoffs.
Other Gambling Industries Provide Boost
Even though sports betting saw a decrease during February, that wasn’t the case for other gambling platforms. Both video lottery games and table games increased from January, which helped the state deal with the decrease in sports betting.
Video lottery terminals brought in more than $28 million in February, an increase of nearly four percent from January. Table game revenue was $7.7 million, which was an increase of more than 28 percent.
Twin River led the way in terms of casino revenue, nearly tripling the amount that was brought in at Tiverton.