The Rhode Island sportsbook closed out 2019 with almost two-and-a-half-times more revenue than the previous December, according to a lottery report released Monday.
The report shows sportsbook revenue reached almost $2.6 million in December 2019, compared to $957,913 in revenue reported in December 2018.
At a meeting Monday, the permanent joint committee on state lottery said nearly $2 million of December's revenue came from a single football game: a big Patriots upset to the Miami Dolphins at the end of the month
"The Patriots losing, which I don't want, but I'll have to sacrifice," said Rep. Bill O'Brien, who also chairs the joint committee on state lottery. "The one good thing, the Patriots lost, but we made money. People got familiar with it, we didn't have long lines, and one of the big, major factors was the Patriots lost a couple of games."
O'Brien said sports betting is meeting expectations in Rhode Island. He points to the nearly $12 million in revenue generated to date since July 1, 2019, with the state pocketing nearly $6 million.
"Right now, it's exactly where it should be," O'Brien told NBC 10 News Monday. "It's going to bring in about $25 million total for the state for this year. That's the way it looks."
O'Brien said although fans hate seeing the Patriots lose, it often results in more money for the state.
However, a Super Bowl without New England leaves a big unknown for potential sports book revenue in January and February, state lottery officials said.
While it's too early to tell because the numbers aren't in yet, O'Brien estimates Saturday night's upset, when the Baltimore Ravens lost to the Tennessee Titans, generated about $2 million in revenue.