Rhode Island Prepares Mobile Sports Wagering Legislation

Busy times in Rhode Island keep on as the state’s Senate President, Dominick Ruggerio, advanced a new legislative piece that looks to make mobile sports betting legal.

Late November saw the official kick off of sports betting market with Twin River Casino in Lincoln taking the first wagers. Not long after, a second sportsbook at Tiverton’s Twin River Casino was opened to the public.

Lawmakers in Rhode Island are content with what has been achieved and are now looking forward to extend the reach of sports betting via mobile devices.

In-House App in Plans

On January 16th, state Senate received Bill 2019-S 0037, which looks to permit both Twin River casinos to commence mobile sports wagering…

…The bill would see to it that venues work closely with gaming developers on creating a smartphone and tablet app that punters could use to place sports bets from anywhere in the state. This could be achieved through the use of geolocation technology that would ensure that the app cannot be used outside of Rhode Island territory.

In order to use the sports betting mobile app, players would need to register with casinos in person, by physically visiting these properties. Each casino will have a server-based gaming system through which the bets can be placed and taken.

According to the bill, the state of Rhode Island will collect 51% in tax from mobile sports wagering.

Before it can be passed, the bill will be looked into by the Senate Special Legislation and Veterans Affairs Committee.

An Opportunity For Legal Business

Since legalizing sports betting in June and launching it in November, the state was looking to make hasty with mobile sports wagering since the two Twin River casinos are already working with William Hill and IGT on the aforementioned apps. Twin River venues are the state’s only licensed gaming facilities.

Ruggerio himself was very confident that the state is on a right path and commented:

“The new in-person sportsbook that opened in November has been very popular, with lines stretching out the doors. 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.”

He went on to say that as much as 97% of sports bets are taken illegally, according to some estimates. He sees that as an opportunity to “give Rhode Islanders and visitors a legal avenue to participate in an activity they enjoy, while providing a very tangible benefit to our state.”

Source:

“Rhode Island Senator files mobile sports betting bill”, igamingbusiness.com, January 17, 2019.

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