- RI Senate President Dominick Ruggerio introduces mobile sports betting bill
- 97% of sports betting in Rhode Island is illegal
- Mobile betting to be levied with 51% tax
Amid the flurry of bills overload in the first two weeks of 2019, Rhode Island’s Senate President, Dominick Ruggerio, has decided to do his part and hit the state legislation with plans to legalize mobile sports betting.
Rhode Island and Mobile Betting: The Story So Far
Following the well-documented repeal of PASPA, Rhode Island was among the first states which began entertaining the idea of expanding into the betting business. Despite being a minnow compared to other states, RI finally wrapped up a working plan by October, and just managed to squeeze in operations by November 26, joining the growing family of states where the industry has been legalized:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
With the Twin River Casino teaming up with IGT and William Hill, RI still stands to benefit from a few final touches that would help it improve its overall standing in the betting ecosystem, and expanding into the mobile sector is definitely one of those.
Senate President Ruggerio Spearheads Mobile Betting Bill
And so, the onus is on RI Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, who has outlined plans to legalize mobile sports betting, allowing the Twin River properties in Lincoln and Tiverton to start accepting mobile wagers.
The move promises to significantly improve gamers’ access to available bets, as per the Bill (2019-S 0037), individuals would be able to bet from anywhere on the territory of Rhode Island.
Understandably, casinos will need to use geolocation to make sure that customers are not playing from beyond state lines, which can stir retribution from the Department of Justice (DoJ), which has just gone back on its interpretation of the Wire Act.
Stiff Taxes and Illegal Betting
The state will levy mobile sports betting with a 51-per-cent-tax, just as much as the current levy on land-based activities. According to Senate President Ruggerio, the industry has been gathering steam so mobile betting would seem the next natural move:
. The new in-person sportsbook that opened in November has been very popular, with lines stretching out the doors.
Apart om outlining the successes, Ruggerio stated that nearly 97% of sports betting in Rhode Island continues to be illegal. The introduction of working, convenient online solution at home would help local business overtake offshore operators.
Teaming up with William Hill and IGT, the Twin River casinos have the technological background to push ahead with an expansion in the mobile sports betting sector.