Rhode Island sports aficionados claimed a big pile of cash, as the state’s William Hill-powered casino reported payouts to the tune of $2.35 million for the Super Bowl. Things are only about to get better with a new bill up for vote on the Senate floor that would legalize mobile sports betting.
Mobile Sports Betting Up for Vote in Rhode Island
The State of Rhode Island saw quite the enthusiasm about betting on the outcome of the Super Bowl. A total of $6.5 million was placed across 51,000 wagers.
Benefiting from its unique position, i.e. being the only state in New England where people can place wagers on the outcome of sporting events, RI quickly beckoned to customers from neighboring states.
Understandably, RI’s total sports handle pales in comparison with the cumulative number for Nevada, New Jersey, and Mississippi where the bets reached almost $186 million.
How can RI boost its handle? The answer is quite simple, but the execution is tricky.
Mobile Betting in RI State: A New Bill Drops
On Wednesday night, February 6, a new bill proposing mobile betting in Rhode Island was waved along by legislators, with the bill now facing a challenge in Senate. Senate spokesman Greg Pare confirmed the news on February 7.
A possible sports betting bill could boost betting in the state as well as save a lot of people the trip to the Twin River Casino, which is the only licensed property at the moment.
Backed & introduced by Senate President Dominick Ruggerio the bill has a good friend on the floor, but the question is if Mr. Ruggerio’s colleagues feel quite the same way. His goal is simple enough:
We want to generate revenue and we want to make sure people have a good experience and come back.
The House Finance Committee Ready to Act?
Support for the move seems to be multi-lateral. The House Finance Committee is entertaining the idea of pushing ahead with a bill of its own should Mr. Ruggerio’s efforts end up halted.
Meanwhile, the state’s lottery operator said that it would take it six months to set up mobile betting operations should the current bill clear the road ahead.
Mobile betting is the next evolutionary step of developing the sports betting industry. Most legislators have dropped mentions of mobile betting to avoid perplexing lawmakers or confusing them with potential negative connotations about UIEGA and the Wire Act.
Despite the looming Wire Act reversal, Rhode Island packs a powerful punch in the sports betting fabric despite its rather modest dimensions.
Where can i bet on sports in Rhode Island?
Presently, Rhode Island allows sports betting only at the Twin River Casino. With the new mobile bill, Mr. Ruggerio is hoping to open up these opportunities to the entire state, with people able to place wagers online.