- Rhode Island is being sued a second time by the same man over the same dispute from September.
- Daniel Harrop believes the state should be held accountable for a bet he lost because they did not properly legalize sports betting.
- Annual revenue for Rhode Island sports wagering was projected at $22.7 million but new estimates see that number closer to $9.4 million.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A lawsuit from a sports bettor in Rhode Island that was previously dismissed in September has now been given the green light to move forward. The plaintiff, Daniel Harrop is suing the state for not following a state law that says issues like sports betting need to be voted on before becoming legal.
Rhode Island did not put the legalization of sports wagering to a vote because they believed it fell within the realm of table game gambling – a measure that was previously voted on and given the go-ahead years ago.
New Evidence Has Come To Light
Back in September, Harrop’s case was dismissed on the grounds that Rhode Island had not caused any personal harm to the plaintiff. However, evidence of a losing sports bet on the New England Patriots placed by Harrop last year recently surfaced.
This has led to an amendment to his previous complaint, and a judge has now ruled in Harrop’s favor to allow the case to move forward. Harrop continues to stand by his stance that the state is at fault for not seeking voter approval by the public before making sports betting legal last year.
On Thursday, Judge Brian Stern ruled in favor that sufficient evidence has now been provided for Harrop to make his case. It is Harrop’s wish that the state reverses its legalization of sports betting until the public has voted in favor of it.
“Obviously we are pleased with the court’s decision and we are looking forward to finally having the opportunity to explain to the court that the General Assembly and Gov. Raimondo violated the constitution,” said Brandon Bell, an attorney for Harrop.
Those in connection with the governor have responded to the case being back on the table.
“The Court has not yet ruled on the merits of this case,” said Josh Block, a spokesman for Governor Raimondo. “Multiple legal opinions have all affirmed that sports betting was already approved by Rhode Island voters, and we remain confident that this complaint will ultimately be decided in our favor.”
Twin River Casino and those representing the state lottery still maintain the idea that Harrop was not at all hurt by legalizing sports betting. It is a fact that those that engage in the activity know it’s a gamble and that gambling is the name of the game.
Regardless of whether or not the state allowed for a public vote to make legal sports betting available is irrelevant. Once it became legal, Harrop and many other sports bettors of Rhode Island took it upon themselves to place wagers.
As the case goes to trial, that point will be something to consider when the judge hands down the final decision.
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.