Online Sports Betting On The Way in Rhode Island

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Sports betting appears to be going online and mobile in Rhode Island. On Tuesday, the Rhode Island House of Representatives passed a bill 64-8 allowing mobile and online sports betting, sending the legislation to the governor for her signature.

Rhode Island is the only state in the New England region that has legal sports betting.  It was implemented in late 2018, restricting bets being placed in person at two Twin River Casinos.

The approved legislation allows Twin River to open a sports betting website and mobile app, eligible to bettors across the state. Though the bill allows bets to be taken anywhere in Rhode Island, the law stipulates that in-person registration must occur at the casinos.

The RI Lottery administers the state’s sports wagering and Twin River has the only issued sports betting license. The casino utilizes William Hill and IGT in its retail betting operations.

Before approval, the bill faced opposition from minority GOP lawmakers, including concern for problem gambling with one state representative calling mobile betting “a whole new animal being unleashed.” Another House Republican introduced an amendment asking for a legal ruling on whether lawmakers could approve mobile betting without asking voters first. That measure was defeated.

In the majority, lawmakers pushed mobile betting in order to keep money in the state. “Let’s stop money from going to all these other states,” Democratic Rep. Anastasia Williams said.

Possibly signaling where she stands on the subject, Gov. Gina Raimondo’s 2019 state budget incorporated $23 million in revenue from sports betting for the year.

It is still unclear how quickly mobile betting will be available after the governor signs the bill into law. Stay tuned to Sportsbook Review for updates. View list of sportsbooks in the US.

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