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Rhode Island Governor approves mobile sports betting bill

Bettors in Rhode Island will soon be able to place online and mobile wagers on sporting events.

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A statement from the General Assembly said Democratic Governor Gina Raimondo signed bill S 37 into law, adding mobile sports betting to the state’s lottery-run operation.

A timeline for the launch has yet to be discussed, but Rhode Island has become the sixth state to make mobile wagers legal.

Online wagers are currently taken in Nevada, New Jersey, West Virginia and in one tribal Mississippi casino, with Pennsylvania expected to launch next month.

The Ocean State is the only state in New England to offer sports betting; wagers must currently be placed in person at the Twin River casinos in Lincoln or Tiverton.

The casinos opened their sports betting venues in late 2018 and have plans to expand operations into permanent spaces this year.

It always seemed likely sports betting would move online in Rhode Island, with the state’s proposed budget for 2019 including revenue from online wagering.

With a population of just one million, the market will not be the biggest. Massachusetts, however, has yet to legalise sports betting and Boston (a city in Massachusetts) is only an hour’s drive from Twin Rivers’ Tiverton property.

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