Rhode Island looks to introduce mobile sports gambling
The state’s Senate President wants to make gambling easier
Rhode Island introduced sports gambling to its residents two months ago. Since then, it has seen significant participation and is helping the state fund its coffers. Given that sportsbooks have to turn over 51% of their profits to the state, it’s easy to see why lawmakers are enthusiastic about the activity’s success. Now, the state’s Senate President, Dominick Ruggerio, is hoping to advance sports betting even more and has introduced a bill that will authorize a mobile gambling platform.
The Twin River Casino in Lincoln was the first casino to offer sports gambling when Rhode Island legalized the industry last November. Ruggerio is hoping that his bill will find approval and allow anyone in the state, with certain caveats, participate in the activity. Gamblers would first be required to register at Twin River, or at the Tiverton casino, where employees would be able to verify the gambler’s age.
In a statement, the lawmaker explained, “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.”
Of course, Ruggerio’s idea may never take off. The recent decision by the U.S. Department of Justice to change its opinion on the Federal Wire Act could possibly influence all types of gambling across the country and could severely hamper further attempts to introduce any type of betting activity.