Mobile Sports Betting Bill Introduced in Rhode Island

A new bill that could legalize mobile sports betting in Rhode Island was introduced this week by Senate President Dominick Ruggerio.

The bill, 2019-S 0037 spells out how the two land-based casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton, part of the Twin River brand, could offer mobile sports betting to their customers.

Dominick Ruggerio issued a press release which said the following: “The new, in-person sportsbook that opened in November has been very popular, with lines stretching out the doors. It is an entertainment option that many Rhode Islanders enjoy, and visitors from outside the state are also flocking to our gaming facilities to place their wagers on sporting events.”

“Expanding to mobile gaming would provide a convenient option for those wishing to enjoy this form of entertainment and open up the economic benefits beyond the walls of Twin River. I can envision a group of friends from out-of-state spending an evening out in a local establishment where they can both watch the game and place a wager.”

Rhode Island has already passed sports betting legislation and the two casinos have live sportsbooks at their sites. However, the state is keen to increase revenue from this industry, and they believe that mobile sports betting could be the key.

Ruggerio noted that revenue from sports gaming supports critical state services such as road and bridge repairs, education and human services. He said that this revenue offsets reliance on taxes for state needs.  Noting that it is estimated that 97% of sports betting takes place illegally, Ruggerio said that the proposed legislation was an opportunity to give Rhode Islanders and visitors “a legal avenue to participate in an activity they enjoy, while providing a very tangible benefit to our state.”

The bill requires that sports bettors register for a mobile account in-person in any of the Twin River properties. They would then be able to wager from anywhere in the state.

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