According to Monday’s statement from Rhode Island lawmakers, the Rhode Island Lottery brought in nearly $302 million for the state’s general funds for the fiscal year ending June 30. This is nearly $18 million more than the previous year. However, in the prior year, the state’s lottery revenues were more than $397 million.
Rhode Island Sees Uptick in Gambling Spend
The Lottery supervises all gambling in the state. According to the Joint Committee on Legislative Services, video lottery was responsible for over $209 million, or 66%, of the total gross profit. This is 2.3% more than in the previous year, according to the Auditor General report.
Online revenue increased 16.4%, and instant ticket revenues increased 19.5% over previous fiscal years. For the year ending June 30, net revenue from table gaming was $79.5 million. After commissions to the facilities and towns and associated operating expenses, the state’s portion of net revenue from tables games was $12.2 million.
The resumption and increased use of the mobile sportsbook app and the increase in sporting events saw the gross profit for the Sportsbook jump by 76% to $19 million.
COVID-19 Cost Rhode Island Gaming Revenue
According to the financial report, the Lottery’s fiscal year 2020 revenues were “materially affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic.” The report explains, “The two State-operated casinos closed at 12:01 a.m. on March 14, 2020, followed by restaurants, bars and taverns in the State on March 17, 2020. Prior to that, beginning on March 11, 2020, major sporting events in the United States were canceled or postponed, including the cancelation and elimination of professional and college sporting events. The closures of the two casinos resulted in all video lottery, table game, and retail on-premise sportsbook operations to cease until further notice.”
Restaurants, bars, and taverns were closed and stay-at-home regulations reduced traditional Lottery revenues. Starting on June 8, 2020, the casinos underwent a gradual opening to a limited number of invited patrons for video operations. Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, revenues are expected to be lower in the fiscal year starting July 1, 2020.
Rhode Island Lottery Recognized for Performance
The report also noted that the Rhode Island Lottery has once again achieved recognition from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). It explained that the GFOA awarded a Certificate of Excellence for Financial Reporting to the Rhode Island Lottery in recognition of its comprehensive annual financial reporting (CAFR), for the fiscal years ended June 30, 2019, and 2019.
It added, “This was the twenty-third consecutive year that the Lottery has achieved this prestigious award (1997 through 2019). In order to be awarded a Certificate of Achievement, a governmental unit must publish an easily readable and efficiently organized CAFR. This report must comply with both generally accepted accounting principles and applicable legal requirements.”