- Sports betting in Rhode Island has been legal and operational since November of 2018
- There are currently only two sports betting facilities in the state of Rhode Island.
- Mobile sports betting in RI is set to launch later this year.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – With legal sports betting having taken place in Rhode Island since November of last year, many assumed that the state would see an immediate bump in tax revenue. However, with only two sportsbooks in the state, Rhode Island needs help to reach former projections.
In Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo’s initial 2019-2020 budget proposal, she estimated that sports betting would provide the state with $30 million in tax revenue, with $3 million of it coming from online and mobile betting.
However, four months into the new year and the state has only been able to collect $300,000 from the two land-based sportsbooks in Rhode Island.
While the numbers do not currently work in Governor Raimondo’s favor, Rhode Island Director of Administration Michael DiBiase feels confident in the outlook of legal sports betting for the rest of the year.
“We’re a bit behind right now in terms of revenues but the key months are March and April and I remain cautiously optimistic that we’ll pick up some ground,” said DiBiase.
The months of March and April are the when the college basketball tournament “March Madness” takes place.
The event is one of the highest wagered events in all US sports, with the American Gaming Association estimating that Americans will spend nearly $8.5 billion on March Madness bets this year.
But, DiBiase’s optimism mainly stems from the fact that Rhode Island will soon be able to implement mobile and online sports wagering as part of the Twin River Casino’s current offerings.
“I think in the current year we’re looking at $12 million and I think we have growth projected for next year overall because [not just] online betting but lottery revenue in general.”
Last month, Governor Raimondo signed Senate Bill RI S 37 into law which officially legalized mobile sports betting. But, a definite timeline for when the Twin River Casinos will have a platform up and running has not yet been determined.
Many are hoping for a launch date before the start of the 2019 NFL season, which is the peak season for sports bettors across the country.
– In his career, Hasan has worked both local and state government positions—including the Attorney General’s Office in Florida. On top of being familiar with the legislative process, he has also been researching and writing on the legality of sports betting across the US. Outside of work you’ll most likely find him producing or playing music, playing sports, or working on creative writing projects. You’ll also catch him at Doak Campbell Stadium cheering on the Noles.