Updated on July 30, 2019
Rhode Island is the eighth state to offer legalized sports betting.
Land-based sports betting in R.I. first became a possibility after S2045 was signed into law in June of 2018. Mobile sportsbooks in Rhode Island were legalized the following year in March of 2019 after SB37 was signed into law.
A lawsuit was filed against the state on the premise that Rhode Island legalized sports betting without a voter referendum which violates the state constitution.
The case was brought about in 2019 and was originally dismissed due to the plaintiff not being personally harmed by legal sports betting in Rhode Island.
However, that case has been reopened on the grounds that the plaintiff lost money betting on the New England Patriots. The loss was significant enough to merit a lawsuit.
Sports betting operations in Rhode Island will remain active while the case is being worked out. This means retail sportsbooks and the state’s online sportsbook are still taking in sports bets until further notice.
Where can you bet on sports in Rhode Island?
The Twin River Casino in Lincoln opened its doors for legal sports betting on Nov. 26, 2018, five months after the state budget was signed by Governor Gina Raimondo which included legalized sports betting.
Tiverton started taking bets in early December 2018, and it is expected to hold its title of the last casino to open a sportsbook in Rhode Island.
Will other casinos in Rhode Island offer legalized sports wagering?
Currently, only two locations will be allowed to offer sports betting under the law which is regulated by the state’s lottery. The lawsuit has been reopened but that has not stopped the state from continuing to accept sports bets.
What’s in it for Rhode Island?
Rhode Island legalized sports betting in June 2018 shortly after the federal ban was lifted in May of 2018, when bill Governor Gina Raimondo signed a bill legalizing sports betting and giving 51% percent of the generated revenue back to the state. The state is now amongst the nearly two dozen others to offer legalized sports betting and one of the first to launch mobile sportsbooks.
Can you bet online in Rhode Island?
The Rhode Island Lottery signed a five-year contract with sports betting service providers IGT and William Hill U.S. that included a provision for on-site mobile wagering. Wagers can be placed on casino grounds with a smartphone app.
Rhode Island legislators did not include mobile or online sports betting in their original legislation, however, Senate President Dominick Ruggerio introduced a bill that would allow online sports betting in early 2019.
The bill contained a provision that all online accounts must be opened in person at one of the two licensed casinos. This is not ideal but follows the model in use in Nevada.
The bill, SB 37, was passed favorably by legislators and was signed into law in March of 2019. The one and only statewide online sportsbook in Rhode Island launched on September 5, 2019, just in time for the start of the NFL season.
The financial result of adding mobile betting this way was a bit underwhelming for lawmakers. Half of the people downloading the app did not go to the casino to finish registering for it. So, in July of 2020, lawmakers passed another sports betting bill to get rid of this provision.
‘Sportsbook Rhode Island’, can be accessed online and the app can be downloaded for Apple or Android devices.
Rhode Island Sports Betting FAQs
Will the lawsuit against Rhode Island sports betting affect the industry in any way?
At this time no. The case was dismissed because the plaintiff was not harmed by the legalization of sports betting in Rhode Island. The lawsuit has been reopened but that has not stopped the state from continuing to accept sports bets.
Can I register for the Sportsbook Rhode Island app from home?
At this time, yes. Originally lawmakers mandated that users of the app had to go to one of the state’s casinos to register but they have since passed legislation to reverse that.
How old do I have to be to bet on sports in Rhode Island?
The legal age to bet on sports in Rhode Island is 18 and up. Rhode Island is only one of a handful of states with an age requirement that’s this low.