Rhode Island Senate clears mobile sports betting bill
The Rhode Island Senate has approved a bill that would legalise mobile sports betting, with the state’s House now set to scrutinise the legislation.
The Senate has voted 32-4 in favour of bill S37, with two abstentions, and will now move forward to the next stage of the legislative process. The bill has also been approved by the state’s Special Legislation & Veterans Affairs Committee.
Introduced by Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, the bill would allow the Twin River casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton to offer mobile sports wagering to consumers
Both casinos would be permitted to work with developers to create a mobile app that would enable punters to place bets from anywhere inside Rhode Island’s state boundaries.
Casinos would be required to use geolocation technology to ensure consumers outside Rhode Island could not access the app, while players wanting to wager via mobile would first need to register in-person at the casino.
The bill also states that Rhode Island would take 51% in tax from all revenue generated from mobile sports betting. This would keep new laws in line with land-based wagering regulations that were introduced last year.
“The new in-person sportsbook that opened in November has been very popular, with lines sometimes stretching out the doors,” Ruggerio said.
“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.
The Twin River casinos in both Lincoln and Tiverton are currently working with William Hill and IGT to offer sports betting in Rhode Island, under a deal agreed between the three parties in August last year.
Rhode Island legalised in-person sports betting in June of last year, but did not launch the regulated market until November.