While the state is the only one in New England to offer sports betting, it only allows in-person bets.
US.- Rhode Island is seeking to expand its sports betting market by allowing bets to be placed through mobile phones. Lawmakers were scheduled to vote on Tuesday for the measure that would make sports betting more convenient.
Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, the one who introduced the bill, said he expects sports betting to be expanded in order to generate more revenue and make betting more convenient. Rhode Island currently allows bets on sports to be placed in-person at the Twin River casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton.
The bill would allow the creation of an app that people could use to access the sports betting offerings at the Twin River facilities, but anyone who wishes to place a bet must be physically present in Rhode Island.
The bill needs to pass the state House of Representatives, and then obtain the signature of the Governor, who has already presented her proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts on July 1 and includes US$30 million from sports betting, and approximately US$3 million from mobile gambling.
House Republicans said that they want to ask the state Supreme Court whether lawmakers can authorise mobile sports betting without asking voters first. “I support this type of gaming. I don’t support moving ahead when there are substantial questions about its legality,” said Republican Rep. Blake Filippi, the House minority leader. “I think we should be asking for an advisory opinion from the Rhode Island Supreme Court before we build our budget around it and invest in the technology.”