• RI SB 37 was passed in the State’s House
  • No more votes needed for the bill
  • Heading to Governor Gina Raimondo for her signature

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – On Tuesday, a mobile sports betting bill passed the final vote it needed in the State’s House of Representatives.

The general House of the State voted on RI SB 37 which is set to legalize mobile sports betting in the state. The House passed the bill with a 64-8 vote. The bill will now go to Governor Gina Raimondo to receive her signature so it can become a law.

Going All The Way

Although the bill has passed the final vote it needed, the bill still needs Governor Raimondo’s signature. But there are little chances that the bill won’t get her signature. Raimondo included sports betting tax revenue in her budget for the upcoming financial year.

Thanks to that, it is easy to see that she supports sports betting in Rhode Island. This makes it extremely unlikely that she would veto the mobile sports betting bill. If mobile betting in Rhode Island is anything like how New Jersey handled it then the Ocean State could receive up to $8 million in additional revenue thanks to mobile betting.

You Can Bet Wherever You Want

The bill will allow sports bettors to use their mobile device to place their bets. To get started, residents will have to go to one of the Twin River Casinos to register themselves first. After that, bettors will have the ability to take the action wherever they go in Rhode Island.

Mobile bettors will not be able to take the action outside of Rhode Island. There will be geo-tracking around the state to make sure bettors aren’t trying to place bets outside of the state’s borders.

Unanswered Concerns

There were a few representatives that had concerns about how mobile betting is going to be implemented in the state. Senator Sam Bell is not in favor of having customers register at the Twin River Casinos to place their bets. He claims that it would require too much work from potential customers and it will make them stay in the unregulated market.

Other lawmakers say that they did not want the Twin River Management Group to handle online sports betting. The reason for that is because the government is handing them a monopoly on sports betting instead of encouraging a competitive market.

No Referendum Needed

There was a group of representatives in the House that attempted to add an amendment to the bill. The amendment would have asked for an opinion from Rhode Island’s Supreme Court to see if the bill needed to go through a voter referendum.

The reason why the representatives wanted to ask the Supreme Court’s opinion is that they were not sure if the bill was an expansion of gambling. Expansion of gambling almost always requires it to be voted on by the people.

If the amendment did pass, the bill would have been delayed quite a bit. It would have first needed to go to the Supreme Court and they would have to discuss the bill. If they decided that a voter referendum was needed, then it would have had to go to the voters before mobile betting could have been allowed. But the amendment ultimately failed to pass and RI SB 37 is heading to the Governor’s office.

Now that the bill has passed, all it needs now is Governor Raimondo’s signature. Once she signs the bill, it will become law and the Twin River Casinos will be able to provide mobile sports betting to its customers. The launch date is yet to be determined, but mobile betting is likely to be available before the next football season.

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