Rhode Island Doubles Down; Opens its 2nd Sportsbook
By Ken Edwards, 13 December 2018
The Twin River Casino at the Tiverton Casino Hotel in Rhode Island recently became the second-premises in the state to launch a sportsbook.
Fully legal sports betting operations at the Tiverton venue officially began last Monday at 3 pm.
The news came a bare one week after the first Rhode Island sportsbook opened its doors at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln.
Twin River Casino’s two land-based locations are the only places in the State of Rhode Island where sports wagers will be accepted for now, and wagers must be placed in person. The State’s lawmakers have plans to explore ways to expand sports betting, including the legalization of mobile and fully legal online sports betting.
Rhode Island the Eight State to begin Sports Betting
To date, seven states offer legal sports betting and they are long-legal Nevada, and the others, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
Even though New Mexico hasn’t yet passed a sports betting law, one Tribal casino there has recently started receiving sports wagers through one of that state’s robust tribal gambling compacts. It is widely thought, that up to 12 other states are considering legalizing sports betting by the start of the next NFL season in September 2019.
Legal Sports Betting in Rhode Island took time to implement
In launching its operations only two-short-weeks-ago, and becoming the eighth state to launch sportsbook operations, taking advantage of the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018 took time for Rhode Island to bring to fruition.
Sports Betting was initially legalized in Rhode Island back in June 2018 when Governor Gina Raimondo included a sports betting revenue-package in the state’s budget.
The sports betting bill, S 2045, became law on 22 June and sports-betting operations were originally expected to accept the first full legal sports wagers by 1 October 2018.
However, negotiations with the vendor that should potentially manage Rhode Land’s sports betting services took significantly-longer than expected, resulting in-a-delay of the launch of sports betting in the Ocean State.
Despite the delay, Sports Betting expected to fill Rhode Island’s coffers
Rhode Island’s State legislative leaders and lawmakers clearly believe sports betting will be an important revenue generator for the state. The legislators made a great deal for the state to ensure that state revenue will benefit.
By hammering out a win-win deal between the state and the casinos, lawmakers have delivered the opportunity to receive plenty of new and unexpected income.
The deal will ensure improved outcomes in veteran’s welfare, education, health and day-care for the Ocean State’s residents. The State of Rhode Island will get 51 percent of the revenue from sports betting to pay for those projects, while vendor will get 32 percent, and the casino will get 17 percent.
Mobile Betting appears to be coming soon to Rhode Island
Democratic Senate President Dominick Ruggerio is currently working on a bill to allow people to place bets from anywhere in the state and make mobile sports betting available whilst within state lines. Senator Ruggeri plans to introduce his new bill when the new legislative session begins in the state in January 2019.
According to a 2017 Oxford Economics study conducted in 2017, Rhode Island’s sports betting revenue is expected to rise up $80 million per year from a total of more than $1 billion in annual wagers, and mobile betting is anticipated to generate around 55 percent of those figures.
In a small state, where revenue-gathering opportunities are limited, those numbers will be crucial in providing state services to Rhode Island’s citizens for the future.