Rhode Island’s sports gambling lawsuit dismissed
The lawsuit had asserted that the legislative approval of sports gambling was unconstitutional
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but Rhode Island is free and clear to move forward with its sports gambling operations. Daniel Harrop had sued to try to prevent sports gambling from taking another step forward, but a judge has now determined that Harrop, a failed political candidate, didn’t have a leg to stand on.
The next step for Rhode Island should be the rollout of mobile sports gambling.
A Superior Court judge ruled yesterday that Harrop’s lawsuit was baseless. Since he did not suffer personally as a result of the state’s decision, Harrop wasn’t entitled to sue to keep sports gambling out of the state, stated the judge. The ruling was seen as a huge victory by both Rhode Island Lottery and Twin River Casino and plans are now underway to move to the next phase of sports gambling in the state.
What the judge didn’t touch on, though, could still have ramifications down the road. Harrop’s lawsuit was submitted on the premise that sports gambling approval in the state was unconstitutional since the state never put the issue to a public vote. The state has argued that the vote wasn’t needed because sports gambling is just an extension of existing gambling authorization given by residents. The judge only dismissed the suit on the conclusion that Harrop was not entitled to sue – no mention of the constitutionality, or lack thereof, of the sports gambling legislation was made.
Given that Harrop has shown that he needs a reason to remain in the spotlight, it’s possible he might try to attack from a different angle and his lawyer is only too happy to help. Attorney Joseph Larisa has stated that he will try to find someone who could have suffered personally, such as a gambler who lost money on a sports wager. If that’s going to be his offensive move, Larisa will find himself facing a defense that even a junior high school third-string lineman could put together.