Figures released by the Rhode Island Lottery show that in March, sportsbooks in the Ocean State had their best month yet.
Punters in Rhode Island placed about $23.6m in sports bets last month, a slight increase on the $20.7m wagered in February.
Of the $23.6m wagered on sports, the state’s two sportsbooks paid out $22m in winnings.
In terms of revenue for March, Rhode Island’s sportsbooks generated $1.5m, a significant increase on the $890,000 loss the bookies made in February.
This marks the highest monthly total sports betting revenue in Rhode Island, the only New England state with regulated sports betting.
The boost in Rhode Island’s sports betting figures can be attributed to betting on the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament.
Since Rhode Island launched sports betting at the end of 2018, bookies in the Ocean State have generated $1.8m in revenue.
Although March marked Rhode Island’s best month yet for sports betting, the state is behind on its initial sports betting tax revenue projections.
When the state legalized sports betting, the state budget predicted tax income of about $2m a month from sports betting.
As a result of this, Governor Gina Raimondo has amended the state’s budget plan for next year, with tax revenue from sports betting cut from $23.5m to $11.5m.
In order to meet this revised budget goal, Rhode Island will need to receive $900,000 a month in tax revenue from sports betting.
In terms of taxation, the state receives 51% of sports betting revenue in the form of taxation and licensing costs, while sportsbooks only hold onto 17% of revenue and International Game Technology (IGT) receives 32% of revenue.
The Ocean State is hoping that the legalization of mobile sports betting could help to improve the tax revenue generated from sports betting.
Raimondo signed a mobile sports betting bill into law last month. State officials expect mobile betting to go live by the end of summer, in time for the start of preseason football.
However, it should be noted that New Jersey allows punters to create an account with an online sportsbook remotely, from anywhere within the state. Rhode Island’s new law, on the other hand, will require in-person registration at one of the state’s casinos.
For a closer look at each state’s sports betting figures, check out our stats page.