December 1, 2020 Sports Betting, Casino, Land-Based

Rhode Island casinos close as second lockdown begins

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Casinos in the state of Rhode Island have been forced to close for the second time as the region undergoes another COVID-19 lockdown.

The state has two casino properties, including the Twin River Casino Hotel in Lincoln and the Tiverton Casino Hotel in Tiverton, both owned by Bally’s Corporation.

From 13 March to 8 June, both casinos were forced to close during the ‘first wave’ of the coronavirus pandemic. They have struggled to mitigate losses since. For the first nine months of the year, revenue for the casinos was down 51% in comparison with the same period in 2019, to a total of $248.7m.

Under the new lockdown rules, the earliest the two Rhode Island casinos will be able to open is 13 Dec.

Commenting on the closure of entertainment venues in the state, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said: “This will not be easy, but I am pleading with you to take it seriously.

“Choosing to gather with those outside your household will have ripple effects that will increase the strain on our hospitals and put lives at risk.”

Despite the detrimental impact of the pandemic to casino revenue, sports betting has flourished in Rhode Island in recent months, softening some of the blow.

In October, $34.7m was bet on sports in Rhode Island, a rise of 11% from the prior month and 23% year-on-year. Revenue was up to $4.3m, a rise of 72% from 2019 levels.

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