Rhode Island General Assembly approves mobile sports wagering

By Tim Poole

A bill allowing mobile sports wagering in the state of Rhode Island has been approved by lawmakers and sent to the governor’s desk.

Sports betting is currently legal in Rhode Island but only through retail wagering at Twin River casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton.

However, Senate President Ruggerio introduced a mobile sports wagering bill in January, which the General Assembly has now passed.

Ruggerio was aided by Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, with their efforts proposing the creation of a mobile app for Twin River's sportsbook.

Players would have to initially set up accounts in person at one of Twin River’s casinos, being free to wager anywhere within Rhode Island thereafter.

Player-tracking technology aims to prevent wagering outside the state’s boundaries. The Rhode Island government, meanwhile, would continue to receive 51% of all winnings from sports betting.

Senate President Ruggerio 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 Ocean State accepted $13.1m in handle during its first full month of legalised sports wagering (December), generating sports betting revenue of $958,000.

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