Legal

Rhode Island mobile sports betting bill makes it to the Senate

Jake Patel
Posted on February 8, 2019

A bill that would legalize online and mobile sports betting in Rhode Island has advanced to the state’s Senate where a full vote will take place next week.

The bill, SB 37, was introduced last month by Rhode Island’s Senate President, Dominick Ruggerio.

Ruggerio’s bill includes measures that will authorize the Twin River casinos located in Tiverton and Lincoln to offer mobile sports betting.

When Ruggerio introduced the bill he said: “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 bill states that the casinos would be allowed to work alongside developers to create an app that will allow sports bettors to wager on sporting events from anywhere in the state.

If the bill is successful, Rhode Island’s mobile sports betting market will share similarities with the Nevada sports betting model. Before a punter can begin wagering on a mobile platform, they will need to set their account up in person at one of the Twin River casinos.

At the moment residents and visitors can only place wagers on sports by visiting one of the Twin River casinos in the state.

The Twin River casinos currently work with International Game Technology (IGT) and William Hill to offer sports betting in the state.

In terms of taxation, nothing will change. Sportsbooks in the state only hold onto 17% of sports betting revenue while the state will receive 51% revenue and IGT will continue to receive 32% of revenue.

In other news, two bills that would authorize mobile and online sports betting in Mississippi died in the committee stage.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on SB 37 on 12 February.