- Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed House Bill 8097 and Senate Bill 2919 to eliminate in-person registration for mobile sports betting platforms in R.I. on Wednesday.
- Sports bettors in Rhode Island can begin to register for mobile sportsbook applications by the end of August.
- Since September 2019, the Ocean State has only made $3.5 million in revenue from mobile sports betting because of a lack of interest in registering in-person by gamblers wagering on sports matchups.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Governor Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island signed conjoining sports betting bills to eliminate the requirement for gamblers to sign up through in-person registration in order to access mobile sportsbooks in Rhode Island.
House Bill 8097 and Senate Bill 2919 have now become law as of July 22 with the Governor’s approval. Now, only three states are left in the nation are still requiring their sports bettors to register in person. Those states are Illinois, Iowa, and Nevada. But Illinois and Iowa plan to phase this stipulation out with Nevada intending to keep it a permanent rule.
While it may seem minor, this is a huge step forward for the modernization of the Rhode Island sports betting industry.
Allowing sports bettors to sign up for legal accounts sanctioned by the state to wager on sporting events can only stand to help the economy as it tries to reopen from shutdowns due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.
What Does This Mean?
House Bill 8097 and Senate Bill 2919 will be enacted by the end of August. Sports bettors will be able to open accounts to begin placing bets on the NFL well before the start of the 2020 season.
Having this made legal in time for football was of the utmost importance as football is the most bet on sport in the nation and Rhode Island is looking to boost their gaming revenue because it is typically their third-largest source of financial profits.
Last week, LegalSportsBetting spoke to Senator Dominick Ruggerio, the President of the Senate of the Rhode Island General Assembly as well as a sponsor for these two bills.
He was certain that the Governor would sign off on the bills, as she did, and he was certain they’d pass in the Assembly, which they did, making Ruggerio a very knowledgeable source.
Even with the reopening of casinos in Rhode Island, not many casino-goers have been too enthused to rush back out to these establishments to gamble because of the outbreak of COVID-19. However, they will no longer have to go to the two Twin River Casinos to register for a mobile sportsbook account.
R.I. sports bettors will be able to register from home and gamble on any sports match up they’d like.
“I think it will enhance whatever revenues we do have coming in at this point in time and I think that once some of these sports get up and running like the NFL, the app will be something that an individual that wants to bet on games will be comfortable using,” said Ruggerio.
Before the Coronavirus rocked the nation, mobile sports betting was not something that was being utilized to its potential in the Ocean State because people were deterred of having to register in person first. Of the 14,000 gamblers that started to sign up, only 45% completed the registration process in person. That’s less than 7,000 sports bettors using Rhode Island’s mobile sports betting platforms in the entire state.
This has led to smaller profit margins in its first 10 months of being available to residents. Of course, sports pretty much ceased to exist beginning in March but there were still things to gamble on.
In almost a year’s time, revenue from mobile sports betting in the Ocean State is at $3.5 million.
With in-person registration no longer being an issue, more gamblers will be inclined to use mobile applications to place all of their sports bets. This will especially be the case for the upcoming NFL games and in turn, Rhode Island will begin to see more revenue coming in than they’ve seen since the launch of mobile sports betting in September 2019.
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.