The entire U.S. sports betting industry has been posting some impressive numbers in March, and that was the case in Rhode Island as well. The total sports betting handle for March in Rhode Island was $38.6 million, showing massive growth after a disappointing February.
In February, the total sports betting handle was $34.4 million, which means that the handle rose by over 13 percent. The March 2021 totals were also up 331 percent from March 2020, but last year was marked by a complete shutdown of the sports betting industry.
The mobile sports betting handle was also up 19 percent from February, but retail sports betting has also posted some impressive numbers in the state. Mobile handle was $21.2 million in March, making up just under 55 percent of the total.
While the total sports betting handle brought in 13 percent more action from February, the state saw a considerable growth month-over-month in sports betting revenue. The Rhode Island Lottery announced that the revenue was $3.98 million in March, up 155.6% from the $1.55 million in February.
The 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament played a massive role in boosting Rhode Island’s sports betting numbers in March. Without college basketball in April, the handle and revenue numbers are expected to take a step back.
Other Gaming Providing Boost
Video lottery terminals and table games also saw a boost in revenue for March, helping the state recover from the financial strain felt from the COVID-19 pandemic. Both of these gaming options saw an increase in revenue and a large jump month-over-month.
VLT games had an income of more than $38.3 million, an increase of nearly 37 percent from February. The table game revenue was just shy of $8.9 million after being just $7.7 million in February.
Competition Coming From Connecticut
Rhode Island and New Hampshire are the only two states in New England that currently offer sports betting, but that could be changing soon. Connecticut appears to be the closest to launching sports betting, which could affect the numbers from Rhode Island.
There are two Native American tribes in Connecticut that have been approved to offer sports betting after signing a new gaming compact with Governor Ned Lamont. The state legislature still has to approve that compact, but that should happen soon.
Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont are all looking to legalize sports betting as well, but nothing seems imminent.
Still Just One Provider
While other states in the U.S. have seen plenty of competition emerge in the sports betting industry, that has not happened in Rhode Island. The Rhode Island Lottery is in charge of sports betting, but it has partnered with William Hill to offer this industry.
William Hill is one of the biggest names in sports betting, but the monopoly in Rhode Island has limited potential growth. Unless lawmakers can change the sports betting rules, there won’t be any other operators with the ability to apply for a Rhode Island sports betting license.