Rhode Island Launches Sports Betting

Rhode Island joins seven other states that allow single-game wagering and will take its first bets on Monday afternoon.  The Ocean State will take ceremonial wagers from several key lawmakers and gambling executives at Twin River Casino in Lincoln.  The sports book will come to Twin River’s second property in Tiverton in the next few weeks, hopefully before the end of 2018.

In a press release, Twin River gave more details about the sports betting rollout event. “An opening bet ceremony will kick off the new product with Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello, Senate President Dominic Ruggerio and John E. Taylor, Jr., executive chairman of Twin River Worldwide Holdings, Inc., placing the ceremonial first bets,” said the casino group. “The ceremony will be held in the Phase 1 area of sports betting located on the third floor of the casino, in the Simulcast area.”

From this statement, it can be deduced that the current location of the sports book is temporary, and the casino will be building it a permanent home in the new year.

Rhode Island missed out on sports betting revenue after several hitches caused a delay, preventing the state from introducing the new industry by the original October 1st date.  As a result, the state budget missed out on millions of dollars in revenue, and the original $23.5 million projected in revenue has dropped to just $11.5 million.

The next step for Rhode Island is to consider the legalization of online and mobile wagering, which has proven itself financially in states such as New Jersey.

Sports betting is already a reality in Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Delaware, Mississippi, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.  Many states are in the process of introducing sports betting legislation, following the overturning of a federal law banning the industry in the United States. Earlier this month, Pennsylvanian casino, Hollywood Casino, became the first sportsbook in the state to test its sports betting products.

The GM of Hollywood Casino, Dan Ihm thanked the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board for its “tireless effort and support”, saying that the regulator “moved heaven and earth” to get the casino to the point that it could become Pennsylvania’s first sportsbook.



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