amblers placed nearly $17 million in wagers on professional sports in April in Rhode Island, the state lottery said Wednesday. The lottery released figures for betting at casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton, showing that the casinos paid nearly $15 million on winning bets.
The $2 million profit is the highest monthly total to date. The state gets 51% after expenses are subtracted. The profit was driven by betting on the start of the NBA and NHL playoffs, and the NCAA Tournament championship game, said Revenue Department spokesman Paul Grimaldi, as reported by AP News.
Rhode Island is the only New England state that has legalized and launched sports betting, while Massachusetts is considering with state Committee’s hearing held this week in Beacon Hill. Since the late November launch in Rhode Island, gamblers have placed $94 million in wagers in total, with $90.1 million paid on winning bets, for a $3.9 million profit.
Rhode Island had expected to make $11.5 million from sports betting this fiscal year, which ends June 30. Among the reasons it missed its targets was an all-too-predictable Super Bowl. When the New England Patriots won, again, and covered the spread, the state’s sportsbooks lost $2.35 million.
The target for next fiscal year, $22.7 million, was recently set at a revenue estimating conference. A consultant told the state to expect closer to $15 million. The state’s estimate is higher because it assumes a September start date for the beginning of mobile sports betting based on testimony from the lottery, where the consultant assumed it wouldn’t begin until January 2020, said Senate spokesman Greg Paré.
The governor’s proposed 2020 budget doubled lottery’s expectations as he counted on an estimate of $30 million from sports betting next year.