Hopefully Rhode Island bettors won't have to register in-person anymore.

  • Rhode Island is in need of revenue with the Coronavirus Pandemic causing wider deficits and RI HB 8097 would help by allowing sports bettors to register for mobile sportsbooks at home.
  • The sports betting law in Rhode Island at present requires bettors to register in person which cannot be done at this time and is allowing profits to be lost because of it.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A new bill was filed within General Assembly on Wednesday that would do away with the in-person registration requirements for mobile and online sportsbooks in Rhode Island which is part of the current sports betting law.

Representatives Nicholas Mattiello and Marvin Abney have sponsored House Bill 8097 that would eliminate this current rule within the Ocean State’s legal sports betting market.

Sports betting laws nationwide that stipulate gamblers must first sign up for a mobile or internet account at a retail sportsbook location first have seen a lot of potential profits lost because of it.

Amending The Sports Betting Law In Rhode Island

The idea to amend the law and allow sports bettors the convenience of signing up for online sportsbook accounts is a good one as the purpose would be to allow for much-needed revenue to be made for Rhode Island.

Currently, mobile platforms are hurting because people cannot sign up in person with the social distancing guidelines and city closures due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

It is this very pandemic that is causing Rhode Island and states all over the country to hemorrhage financially making for huge budget deficits.

R.I. lawmakers believe more gamblers will register and begin gambling on sports if they could do so from home without needing to go anywhere first, especially at a time like this when they can’t even do that.

Now is a very crucial time because sports are beginning again but establishments are closed. Those are wagers residents in the state will continue to make with outside companies, failing to profit Rhode Island with the law as it stands now.

House Bill 8097 has been proposed to stop this issue from being a continued occurrence.

“Online sports wagering shall only be engaged in by patrons who have established an online gaming account in person on the premises of a hosting facility pursuant to the rules and regulations promulgated by the Division. This act shall take effect upon passage,” is what is stated in the bill.

A simple strike through which ends with an amendment may lead to an even better sports betting law for everyone in the Ocean State.

What Happens Now?

Both bill sponsors stand strong in their viewpoint that now is a perfect time to allow the sports betting enthusiasts of Rhode Island the chance to place their bets from home.

They believe this is the safest most profitable option for Rhode Islanders during a time with a global pandemic.

If wagers on sporting events were available at the click of a button or two, gamblers would still be safe as they are following the CDC guidelines for COVID-19. Not only that, but Rhode Island would also expect to see a bigger number of bettors because of it and could then begin earning revenue from the sports betting industry in bigger chunks. It’s a win/win.

House Bill 8097 has been referred to the House Finance Committee for its next introduction.

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