Rhode Island Sports Betting Struggles – Casinos Open To Public

As of Tuesday, June 30 both Twin River Casino and Tiverton Casino are now open to the public. Hours of operation will be 10:00 am – 3:00 am.  At 3:00 am to the following morning each and every day, staff will clean the entire property. But the news is not all positive Here is Rhode Island Sports Betting Struggles – Casinos Open To Public

Rhode Island Sports Betting Struggles - Casinos Open To Public
Inside the Twin River Casino Sports Book

Rhode Island Sports Betting Struggles

Rhode Island sports books saw a drastic decrease in handle and revenue during the pandemic. May showed promise in making up lacking revenue during casino closures. Unfortunately, Rhode Island sports books handled only $11.1 million in sports wagers and earned only $1 million in revenue between March 1 and May 31. Before the pandemic, Rhode Island sports books handled $28.2 million in sports wagers and earned $2.3 million in sports betting revenue in February alone.

Rhode Island Sports Betting Struggles - Casinos Open To Public
The Rhode Island Sports Betting Mobile app

A massive decrease in sports betting revenue across the country is obviously due to the shutdown of professional and collegiate sports betting options. However, it seems worse in Rhode Island because of added requirements in getting an account. The state requires a player’s mobile be activated with a valid, government-issued ID in person at either Twin River or Tiverton Players Club. This is also considered to blame for the additional decrease in revenue. Once your account is finalized, you can start placing your bets, but within Rhode Island state borders.

Better News on Horizon

However, the sports books are still not open in either casino. Luckily, more players may now sign up for the limited betting offerings at the Players Club. Legislation is underway to eliminate this process, but officials are taking their time.

Sports betting handle and revenue should still increase in the coming months. Major American sports leagues like the NBA, MLS, WNBA and MLB are cautiously putting in protocols to resume play in late July. But until Rhode Island residents are able to freely register for online betting, revenues will still be low. 

Rhode Island Sports Betting Struggles - Casinos Open To Public
Twin River Casino Hotel

Phase III will open the casinos for the full betting public, whenever Gov. Raimondo approves that move. However, many bettors are likely remain hesitant to visit a crowded casino with an even smaller enclosed sports book such as the one at Twin River. Rhode Island sports books are still months away from a full financial recovery from COVID-19.

Rhode Island Lottery runs the sports betting through William Hill, the most used online betting format in America. 

Covid-19 Response Plan

Strict crowd control measures are in place during the current phase.  State guidelines have reduced capacity to just 25% of the maximum.  Strict crowd control measures are in place during this phase. 

Both facilities ask guests to self-park.  Please have your face mask on as they are mandatory for all guests and staff. If you are unable to bring one, one will be provided to you. The casino is providing wipes guests to wipe their machines, chairs, etc before playing.

What’s Closed – Rhode Island Sports Betting Struggles – Casinos Open To Public

Sportsbook, Hotel, Fitness Center, Racebook, Poker Room, Event Center, Valet, Entertainment offerings and Restaurants will remain CLOSED. However, food courts are open with limited seating capacity. Limited bar service is available in disposable cups.

The casino is now non-smoking. Instead, outdoor areas at the North and West entrances are available to accommodate guests.

Casino Modifications

Select table games, such as live blackjack tables with plexiglass dividers, are now available with limited seating capacity. Slot machines are separated by plexiglass or at least six feet apart. Virtual/stadium table games are available, also.

Critical Reports and The Draw

While the opening has gone well, problems in protocol surveillance have surfaced. Patrons are concerned about a perceived lack of security and staff on the casino floor. Available staff cleaning machines, restrooms and other areas are lacking. Unfortunately, the smoke smell is still evident on the first floor even though it’s non-smoking.

However, with every week, the response appears to change to the pandemic. It’s July and Covid-19 numbers are spiking in over half of the United States. Phase II could be here for a while, as seen in Massachusetts’s actions to open its casinos.

Just like the weather here in New England, you can’t get used to what is in place. If you wait a minute, it’ll probably change. So will casino protocols – but in what direction?  Your guess is as good as mine.

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