Mobile betting set to be launched in Rhode Island

Lawmakers approved a mobile sports gambling bill yesterday

In November of last year, Rhode Island approved sports gambling. Following that, the state has been hoping to introduce mobile sports gambling and lawmakers began reviewing legislation on the subject this past January. That bill has now been approved and mobile sports wagers are now one signature away from becoming law.

Lawmakers in Rhode Island approved the mobile sports gambling bill yesterday. Currently, all bets must be made in person at either of the Twin River casino locations in Tiverton and Lincoln. Legalizing mobile bets will provide more flexibility and the state hopes to attract an additional $3 million in revenue from mobile wagers – it had already established $30 million as the number that would come from in-person sports bets.

The bill paves the way for the creation of a mobile app to access the Twin Rivers sportsbooks. All wagers would be controlled and only in-state gambling would be allowed.

Certain lawmakers still aren’t on board and are looking to delay any new sports gambling legislation. They assert that Rhode Island voters approved gambling in 2012 and 2016, but that they didn’t approve sports gambling. They tried to introduce an amendment that would have forced the issue to the courts and caused delays, but the amendment was defeated and the bill stands. Some of those have threatened to sue to force the issue to be sent to a public vote.

The House approved a bill by the Senate president to allow sports gambling and also approved its own version of the same bill. Both versions are expected to go before Governor Gina Raimondo, where they aren’t expected to find much resistance.

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