Big news for Rhode Islands and sports fans. The state is preparing to launch its very first sports betting-authorized facilities, following the repeal of PASPA. The move is rather belated compared to rivals, but a long-expected one nevertheless.
Twin River Casino Launches Sports Betting
As of next week, November 26, the Twin River Casino will become the first gambling facility in the State of Rhode Island to take sports wagers. Long-overdue, the deregulation of the market has finally caught up to one of the markets with the greatest potential, experts estimate.
The inaugural wagers will be placed by Speaker of the House Nicolas Mattiello and Senate President Dominic Ruggerio who will be joining Twin River Worldwide Holdings Executive Chairman John Taylor, Jr. The trio will de facto launch the first wagering activities in the state.
Following the repeal of PASPA, The State of Rhode Island decided to push ahead and legalize the activity as early as June, but bringing activities from the drawing board into practice has proven a sinuous and on occasion challenging road.
According to Mr. Ruggerio, there is a lot of good to take out of the legalization of the activity, as it will benefit the state’s coffers directly and help bolster key social causes, such as education and allow the state to allocate more funds in maintaining and improving the infrastructure.
The activity was expected to begin as early as October, but then delays occurred with both IGT and William Hill, which deferred the official launch a little. Rhode Island is definitely not going easy on the taxation end of things. The state will tax sports betting at 51% of the gross revenue, allocating 32% to the vendor and 17% back to the casino.
It’s quite the price to pay, but this is the only way any lawmaker would land support for an activity that is as divisive as sports betting, despite the strong support from citizens. Moving past the initial stages, the developments of further helpful betting facilities will begin, including the introduction of mobile betting and other solutions that are popular in developed markets.
Although the taxes in the state are hefty, Rhode Islands have decided to lower the costs for the permits that will allow companies to buy the rights to operate. Unlike Mississippi where the sums were worth millions, Rhode Islands will charge only $250,000 for each of its five permits.
Naturally, these prices will begin to change given demand and competition, but for now, the state wants to guarantee that operators will actually sign up for the activity and start monetizing off the sports bettors in the state. Although no exact numbers are presently available as to how many potential bettors there are, lawmakers estimate that five operators will be kept fairly busy throughout the season.
Rhode Island missed out on the beginning of the NFL season, but this may just incentivize bettors to start wagering as early as November 26, as Thanksgiving is still one of the busiest periods to be a punter.