Can Bally Casino’s Rhode Island Growth Overcome Disappointing Early Revenue Numbers?

Bally’s early revenue figures from its Rhode Island online casino monopoly are disappointing, yet 72% growth from March to April suggests that the situation might only be temporary. Bally Casino generated $2.1 million in gaming revenue for April, less than either the state’s official projections or the somewhat more pessimistic forecast supplied by Bonus Managing Editor Alex Weldon.

Slots revenue accounted for $1.34 million in April, up 38% from March, while live dealer table games revenue more than tripled, from $238,641 to $740,579. 

April was Bally’s first full month, as its full public launch came only on March 5, after a four-day soft launch period. Assuming that revenue from March 1-4 was negligible, April’s figures represent a 55% increase in daily average revenue.

If the site could maintain a similar growth rate for about three more months, it would rise to meet the state’s expectations. More likely, however, growth will slow down. The question is by how much and how quickly.

Revenue Growing But Below Forecasts

Last year, as part of the lawmaking process, the Rhode Island Department of Revenue commissioned Christiansen Capital Advisors (CCA) to forecast the potential revenue from iGaming. CCA estimated that 2024 gross gaming revenue would be $69.3 million, with a net revenue of $59.3 million. Weldon’s estimate for Bonus was considerably lower, coming in a little under $50 million.

Given that Bally’s has generated just shy of $3.3 million in the first two months, it would need to average over $8.2 million per month for the remainder of the year to hit CCA’s target. The Bonus forecast calls for around $4.5 million per month over the summer, rising to $6.5 million by the end of the year.

To get in line with the Bonus forecast, Bally’s would need to double its monthly online casino revenue within the next few months and triple it by the end of the year. CCA’s target would be much harder to hit, requiring Rhode Island to ramp up quite quickly to a per capita performance in line with Connecticut’s—a state with two brands, integrated sportsbooks, and a high level of promotional spending.

Also, summer is typically a slow time for online casinos. Bally’s has bucked that trend so far with its post-launch growth. May revenue numbers could give us a better picture of where Rhode Island’s revenue stands compared to forecasts.

Lack of RNG Options Not Affecting Table Game Revenue

Due to a quirk in state gambling law, Rhode Island has taken an unusual approach to table games, offering only live dealer options and no purely digital games using random number generators (RNG) to determine the outcome. Live dealer games include a physical dealer and are streamed from Bally Casino Twin River Lincoln, with newcomer Stakelogic as the supplier. Unlike in other states, these games aren’t yet available 24/7. Players in Rhode Island can only enjoy table games during the following hours:

  • Monday to Wednesday: 4 p.m. until midnight
  • Thursday: noon until midnight
  • Friday & Saturday: 24 hours
  • Sunday:  midnight until 4 a.m. plus noon until 4 p.m.

That equates to 50% uptime for the whole week.

However, the lack of RNG table games and the limited availability of live dealer tables don’t appear to be hurting Bally’s revenue stream. In April, table game revenue was $740,579, or 35% of total iGaming revenue.

That’s a higher percentage than other iGaming states, even those with both options. In Pennsylvania, for instance, table games have accounted for about 25% of online casino revenue over the past year. Delaware is in the opposite boat from Rhode Island, with RNG tables only, yet has seen them produce 28% of revenue since BetRivers took over from 888 as the state lottery’s supplier.

Early Data Shows High Hold in Rhode Island

Unlike most other states, Rhode Island’s financial data includes player wagers for each vertical. Connecticut and West Virginia provide the total but don’t separate it by game type, while Pennsylvania provides that info for slots but not table games. Only Delaware provides the breakdown for each.

Comparing those numbers to the revenue, Bally’s has held 4.1% of player wagers over its first two months. Its hold for slots has been 5.6%, while the live dealer tables have held only 2.6%. In Connecticut, the combined hold is around 3.0%. In Delaware, it’s about 3.3%, and in West Virginia, it’s around 3.4%.

Connecticut’s low number could be because the only two operators, DraftKings and the FanDuel-powered Mohegan Sun, are sports-focused. Sports bettors tend to prefer table games, such as online blackjack, which have a much lower house edge.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania reports the hold only for slots, which is around 3.7%. That is almost two percentage points lower than Rhode Island’s slots.

That situation may be temporary, however. The slots featured on Bally Casino RI’s home page have RTPs between 94.2% and 96.6%, equating to expected holds between 3.4% and 5.8%. Even if the selection is somewhat tighter than other states, that range is not likely to produce an overall long-term hold of 5.6%. 

The more likely explanation is variance. Rhode Island is a small enough market that the largest and rarest jackpots won’t necessarily hit reliably on a month-to-month basis. Over the long term, Bally’s will likely experience some months with more jackpots and an unusually low hold, which will even things out.

About the Author

Chav Vasilev

Chav Vasilev

After years of managing fast-casual restaurants, Chav turned his passion for sports and occasional slot wins into a career as an iGaming writer. Sharing his time between Europe and the US, he has been exposed to betting and gambling for years and has closely followed the growth in the US. Chav is a proponent of playing responsibly and playing only at legal online sites. When not writing, you will find him watching and betting on sports, especially soccer, or trying to land the next big bonus on a slot.
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