New England is starting to become a gambling hotbed following the legalization of sports betting in Connecticut. Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island all have legal betting, and Massachusetts is expected to follow in 2022.
Rhode Island is a state that is typically forgotten when it comes to legal sports betting. Yet, the small state on the country’s eastern border is making noise in the industry. The state set a record for sports betting revenue in November. A major reason for the success was professional and collegiate football.
Rhode Island announced that it had collected $6.7 million in sports betting revenue during the month of November. This was an increase of 85.8% from October’s $3.6 million total and 6.7% more than November of 2020.
November has always been a good month, which was the previous record. The total was $6.3 million one year ago.
The handle for the month was $52.7 million, which was a decrease of 12.3% from October when the record of $60.2 million was wagered. However, bettors won more in October, which was evident by the small revenue figure.
Yet, the handle still increased extensively from November of 2020, when the total was $35.1 million. The online sports betting handle was $28.7 million, so retail sports betting had a solid month. Usually, retail betting is not as high, but online betting dropped extensively.
The online sports betting handle dropped 7.8% from October’s 31.1 million total. The yearly growth was still noticeable, which is a big deal for the state. Annual growth is a stat the industry uses to assess sports betting success.
The November online betting handle was 82.9% higher than November 2020s $15.7 million. Overall, November was a huge win for the state, but Rhode Island needs to increase its handles. Larger handles equate to long-term betting success.
The Large Fall Sports Schedule
It’s no secret that a lot of sports equates to more betting. November is always one of the busiest sports months of the year. Football season is beginning to approach playoffs, so enthusiasm for the sport is very high.
This is magnified because of college and professional football. Additionally, the beginning of the NBA and NHL season starts in October, so excitement for both sports is very high. This season marked the first time Rhode Island bettors could start staking college basketball.
The recent sports delays will likely impact the betting handle in RI and throughout the nation due to the Omicron variant. This COVID strain has already derailed every sports season. The NFL schedule was shifted, multiple NHL and NBA games have been changed, and numerous college bowl games have been canceled.
The NFL, which is the largest betting attraction in Rhode Island, is still going strong. Playoff football will create a lot of bet slips, so Rhode Island should finish the betting year strong.
If the state continues this revenue trajectory, it will be one of the best industries amongst the small states. However, the legalization of Connecticut betting should take action away from Rhode Island.