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Richard Miller
Author:
Richard Miller
Last Updated:
March 1, 2021
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This author was thoroughly tested and approved by the experts at BettingBilly.com before joining the editorial board to ensure a high content quality.
Author Bio:
 
Richard was Marketing Manager at a global bookmaker and worked in the enterntainment sector for decades before working his way up in the world of entrepreneurs. His focus areas are mainly in the fields of sports and politics. He has a Science Degree, visited Harvard University and is now our hardworking Editor-in-Chief at BettingBilly.
Richard was Marketing Manager at a global bookmaker and worked in the enterntainment sector for decades before working his way up in the world of entrepreneurs. His focus areas are mainly in the fields of sports and politics. He has a Science Degree, visited Harvard University and is now our hardworking Editor-in-Chief at BettingBilly.

Rhode Island Online Sports Betting in 2021

Sports Betting in Rhode Island: Legal in 2021

The smallest US state was among the first ones to embrace sports gambling as it took Rhode Island no longer than a month to take advantage of the 2018 PASPA repealing and legalize the activity. Five months had to pass before the maiden sports wager was accepted at Twin River Casino in Lincoln. Several weeks later, the other (of two existing) land-based casinos in the state, Twin River in Tiverton, took their inaugural sports bets.

Land-based Betting Operators & Racetracks in Rhode Island 2021

Rhode Islanders voted to approve online gambling expansion on two occasions before 2018 (2012 and 2016 respectively). As a consequence, two class III casinos (including sports betting) were approved. The major move was made when Governor Gina Raimondo revealed the 2019 state budget that included $23.5 million in new tax revenue supposed to come from sports betting. The activity was formally legalized on June 22nd, 2018, roughly one month after the abolition of PASPA. Governor signed Senate Bill 2045, crafted by Senate President Dominick Ruggerio. The bill did not go too deep into the sports betting, though. Its main decisions were naming two casinos to host sports betting in Rhode Island and to forbid bets on the state college teams.

Five months later, in November, Twin River Casino in Lincoln became the maiden facility to embrace Rhode Island sports betting by accepting the first wager. Its Tiverton branch followed the example by taking the initial bet just a few weeks later. These two properties are still the only brick-and-mortar casinos in the state. There is no other sportsbook in Rhode Island at this point.

Lincoln and Tiverton are not among the top seven most populous cities in the state and the majority of Rhode Island residents had to travel there to satisfy their gambling needs before online betting was introduced. On the positive side, the two eligible sportsbooks cover most major sports both in the United States and abroad (including international soccer leagues).

Online Betting in Rhode Island 2021

Rhode Island sports betting online legislation was brought by Dominick Ruggerio who pushed Bill S 0037. The Senate approved the bill in February, while Governor Raimondo signed it into law the following month. Nonetheless, we can say online betting in Rhode Island is still relatively limited.

First of all, the two Twin River casinos hold a monopoly and they are the only sportsbooks allowed to go online. IGT and William Hill took advantage of the situation and reacted first by making deals with the two state-run casinos. The Rhode Island Lottery (in partnership with the two mentioned casinos) has full control of both land-based and online sports betting. At the moment, there are no signs that any other gambling operator, including the industry heavyweights DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel, could join the market in the near future.

Secondly, the Rhode Island sports betting regulation requires in-person registration. Rhode Islanders can initiate the registration process online but have to visit one of the two land-based casinos to complete the process and become eligible to place online bets from the comfort of their homes. This makes Rhode Island one of only four states in the country to have such demands imposed (Iowa, Nevada, and Illinois the remaining three).

Compared to the other states that have legalized both retail and online betting, Rhode Island have the lowest online share due to the in-person registration requirements. We'll take the numbers from February 2020 when Rhode Island had a 31.7% online share. At the same time, Iowa had 66.4%, while open online states reported huge online share percentages for the same time frame (New Jersey and Pennsylvania almost 90% each, Indiana 77.9%, West Virginia 69.3%). Not even half of online registrants have ever visited one of the two brick-and-mortar casinos in the state to set up their accounts. This is certainly something the lawmakers will have to take into consideration moving forward, especially ahead of the new NFL season. The state revenue would no doubts be much more significant if Rhode Island sports betting law allows online registration within the state borders.

Mobile Sports Betting in Rhode Island 2021

The maiden Rhode Island sports betting app was launched on September 4th, 2019 by the state lottery. It initially faced legal questions as not all state cities had legalized sports betting. Yet, mobile sports betting in Rhode Island was available across the entire state. So, a resident of Providence could have just visited one of two Twin River Casinos, set up an account, and place sports wagers from his house although his city had not embraced legal sports betting yet. Nevertheless, such legal questions did not hurt the industry at all. What did cause damage was the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic as the lack of proper sports action worldwide left a serious impact.

In terms of betting through mobile apps, there are no special rules. Everything you can bet on at one of two Twin Rivers properties is available via the mobile app run by the Rhode Island Lottery. It is also important to mention that no other operators can join the market at this point. There is no application process and mobile betting can only be done via the lottery app.

Rhode Island Betting Site List: Legal Sportsbooks in Rhode Island 2021

Favorite Sports and Teams in Rhode Island

Rhode Island do not have a single professional team in major sports leagues in the country. They are home to several semi-professional outfits, Pawtucket Red Sox and Providence Bruins being the most popular n the crowd.

The Red Sox, a minor league baseball squad, are the AAA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox and feature the International League. They were founded in 1970 and have won four league trophies since, the last ones in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

Providence Bruins are Boston Bruins’ primary development team. They were founded in 1987 and have won three American Hockey League titles since. Dunkin’ Donuts Center, located in the state’s capital, is where they place home matches in the competition.

If we go back to history, we can see the significance Rhode Island had to the development of tennis and yachting in the United States. The Newport Yacht Club had the honor of hosting the elite international sailing event, America's Cup, for more than 50 years (from 1930 to 1983). Newport also organized the first lawn tennis event in America. It was home to the United States Tennis Championship for more than 30 years at the turn of the 19th century. International Tennis Hall of Fame can be found here.

Tennis betting has seen a massive expansion in the last decade overseas. The local bettors will no doubts be highly interested in placing wagers on tennis affairs, especially during the Tennis Hall of Fame Championships in Newport in July.

Finally, Rhode Island is part of the New England area. We don’t even have to mention how huge the Patriots’ NFL legacy is. They own numerous records, including the ones for most Super Bowl appearances and wins by the same head coach-quarterback tandem, courtesy of legendary Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Twin River Casinos in Rhode Island reported $900,000 in losses on sports betting in February 2019, after the Patriots clinched their last Super Bowl title.

What you Can and Can’t Bet on in Rhode Island

Although its residents had the opportunity to utilize daily fantasy sports services even before sports betting was legalized in 2018, this specific activity is yet to pass legislation. The state’s Attorney General Peter Kilmartin decided to take a deep look into the issue back in 2016 to come up with a positive answer to the question regarding whether fantasy sports sites are allowed in the state.

The first real sports wagers at a land-based casino were taken in November 2018, while maiden online bets went through almost one year after (September 2019). Ever since, the Rhode Islanders have the luxury of betting on any professional and college sports events except for affairs featuring in-state college outfits. The current mobile app covers a massive array of sports and markets, going from king football to less popular sports such as yachting. International soccer and tennis tournaments are also a significant part of the mobile app's gaming portfolio.

Gambling in Rhode Island: Since when is it legal to Bet

The state size (the smallest by land area in the United States) and geographic location (neighboring a couple of big gambling states in the likes of Connecticut and Massachusetts) put Rhode Island betting in a tough position. Connecticut’s Foxwood and Mohegan Sun casino resorts are just a couple of hours away, while it is very hard to compete with Massachusetts' low taxation rates either. Nonetheless, we will go back through time to see how the residents tried/performed gambling over the course of history.

The first informal lotteries appeared throughout the colony in 1744 but were forbidden in 1843. In 1896, the state’s General Laws involved amendments 11-19-1, clearly outlining banned forms of gambling. Any lottery or chance game was strictly forbidden. Almost 40 years later, in 1934, pari-mutuel betting on horse and greyhound racing was legalized. The state's first-ever racetrack, the Narragansett Park, was open to the public later that year.

The Rhode Island Lottery was established in 1974. Further amendments from 1987 and 1988 allowed bingo and major national games such as Mega Millions and Powerball respectively. Video lottery terminals and keno games were first introduced in 1992. Finally, Twin River casinos were officially capable of rivaling the properties of the same kind from neighboring states as of 2012 when pari-mutuel betting facilities were transformed into genuine casinos. They added poker tables three years later, while daily fantasy sports became legal the next year. Finally, sports betting was allowed as of 2018.

Gambling Guide: Rhode Island Online Betting

Ask Billy: Frequently Asked and Answered

Conclusion: Enjoy Rhode Island Sports Betting
Rhode Island was the eighth US state to allow sports betting in June 2018. Bettors could have initially placed wagers only at one of Rhode Island's two state casinos (Twin River casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton). Mobile betting was introduced in March 2019. However, to open an online account, a bettor has to visit one of the two land-based casinos to finish the registration process. Rhode Island State Lottery has a monopoly over the industry. At the moment, no other operators expect the two local casinos, are allowed to join the market
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