Legal Rhode Island Sports Betting

Legal Rhode Island sports betting is far from impossible as residents of the Ocean State can place their wagers at offshore gambling websites or within the sportsbooks offered by the Twin Rivers Casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton. There used to be an unfavorable outlook of gambling, sports betting included, which came as a bit of a surprise given the facts surrounding Rhode Island’s inception in the 17th century. Despite a history steeped in the Puritan religious tradition, Rhode Island – one of the original 13 American colonies – was founded by Roger Williams as a safe haven for individual liberty, and gambling played a large part in the colony’s early development.

The entire history of the 20th century has been one big slow rollback, whereby the voters eked out a place for some forms of gambling in the state: in fact, it took until 1973 before a state lottery was approved, until 2012 before casinos were allowed to be constructed, and until 2018 until sports betting became fully legal and regulated in the state.

Though Rhode Island’s gambling laws have never been particularly harsh toward bettors, it did leave little wiggle room for those wanting to wager on sports. However, the rise of offshore gaming websites offering sports betting to US players has changed that. By operating outside US legal jurisdiction, licensed foreign-run websites like Bovada, 5Dimes, BetOnline, and SportsBetting took control and had people betting on sports again. This pushed for the change to legalize sports betting in Rhode Island as legislators wanted to benefit from the tax money that was leaving the state and country. Now, sports enthusiasts in Rhode Island can partake in both state-licensed and offshore betting options.

Is Land Based Sports Betting Legal In Rhode Island?

Land-based sports betting in Rhode Island has become legally accepted since June 2018. The industry was not launched until November due to specific regulations and a taxation system needing to be implemented before takeoff. They were one of the first states to bring legal sports betting to their state after the PASPA appeal. Ahead of the game, Rhode Island residents can freely wager on sports in casinos or with offshore operators.

Is It Illegal To Bet On Sports Online In Rhode Island?

Not only can you participate in brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, but you also have the ability to use online sportsbooks as well. Lawmakers have yet to sign off on state-sanctioned sports betting sites, but there are still numerous offshore websites that allow RI sports fans to wager on sports. These websites are all regulated by their home countries gaming authorities and they accept US bettors with an emphasis on competitive sign-up bonuses, a wide variety of wagering options and a safe and secure platform.

Is There Anywhere In Rhode Island That I Can I Bet On Sports?

Rhode Island is a small state with only two casinos, but both of them are allowed to offer sports betting. Operated by the state lottery, the Twin River Casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton both have up-and-running sportsbooks that allow you to gamble. Once available only in Las Vegas, these casinos offer experiences that every sports fan will enjoy. They both offer full-scale wagering from straight bets, future bets, and parlays with excellent help from the cashiers. Sportsbook lounges are even included at these locations where you can watch the games, have a cold drink, and relax while you let your money work for you. There was a discussion add to the gambling industry a mobile and online betting sector, but there have been no advancements.

Where’s The Closest Place To Me To Bet?

If getting out of the house is your forte, you can drive to one of the two local casino sportsbooks. If you prefer convenience, online sports betting with an offshore operator is always an option. This can be accessed from your phone or computer anywhere you have an internet connection.Those looking to take a weekend getaway can also take the trip down the coast to New Jersey sportsbooks or Pennsylvania sportsbooks and engage in their casinos that offer sports betting as well.

Cities With Sportsbooks In Rhode Island

  • Lincoln
  • Tiverton

Rhode Island Sports Betting Sites

The top legal Rhode Island sports betting websites are the same ones that service every other state in the US. Those include Latvian-based Bovada (by far the biggest in the industry), European Union-based 5Dimes and the Caribbean-based SportsBetting and BetOnline, all of which fill the niche left by the 2006 passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which practically dismantled much of the American online gambling industry. These offshore legal sports betting websites are reputable, reliable and, best of all, regulated by their home countries and not subject to US or Rhode Island law.

Because these offshore websites operate outside the US, federal laws don’t apply to them either, meaning Rhode Islanders can legally and safely bet on their favorite sports teams. Each one of the top four websites offers something slightly different in terms of bonuses for signing up and winning bets, but all of them offer all the sports that Americans love, from baseball to basketball to football. Essentially, Ocean State gambling enthusiasts get the best of all possible outcomes when they choose these sites that allow legal Rhode Island sports betting.

Rhode Island Sports Betting And Gambling Laws

There are numerous state laws regarding what is and what is not legal gambling in Rhode Island, and the illegal forms used to vastly outnumber what was considered legal. Rhode Island General Laws Section 11-19-1, which dated back all the way to 1896, prohibited individuals from “directly or indirectly, set up, put forth, carry on, promote, or draw, publicly or privately” participating in gambling, which state law classified as a lottery or game of chance “of any nature or kind whatsoever” by which money or things of value, including property, can be won.

However, this all changed in 2018 when legislators made the appropriate changes to state laws and put regulations in place to build a sports betting industry in Rhode Island by approving Senate Bill 2045. This allows for only two licenses in the state which was given to the Twin River Casinos. IGT is the operator of these books and was surprisingly the only bidder to partner with the casinos.

It is important to note that Rhode Island General Laws Section 11-19-14 clearly says that bookmaking or taking bets on “the result of any trial or contest of skill, speed or power of endurance of man or beast” as well as political elections is strictly prohibited. Those found guilty of bookmaking will be looking at a fine of $500 or less or a prison sentence not exceeding one year, though second offenders can be imprisoned for up to five years. These severe punishments are a major component of past laws but the state will ensure only the licensed sportsbooks are able to collect and allocate gambling money.

What Teams Can I Bet On?

As might be expected of the smallest state in the nation, Rhode Island is not home to any major professional sports teams. However, the appropriately named New England Patriots, who have been the odds-on favorite to win the Super Bowl many years in the past fill the football niche for most states in the region. Why shouldn’t the Pats be Rhode Islander’s team? Their stadium, in Foxborough, Massachusetts, is just 20 miles north of Providence and New England has had more success than the majority of NFL teams.

Most Rhode Island sports fans also pull for MLB’s Boston Red Sox, which won the first-ever World Series in 1903 but then didn’t do so again until 2018. It wasn’t until 2004 when they triumphantly broke the worst drought in pro sports; In between then, the Red Sox won two more World Series in 2007 and 2013. The interest of Ocean State fans in Boston’s team is stoked by the presence of the Pawtucket Red Sox, a Triple A-International League team affiliated with Boston. Pawtucket has a solid roll of winning seasons, and they claimed four league titles in their history.

Rhode Island has several high-profile collegiate sports programs despite its small size, and several legendary sports figures are graduates of the school, including former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and even John Heisman, who gives the Heisman Trophy its name. The Brown University Bears, competing in the Ivy League, are nationally known for their consistently top-5 rowing program, while the Bryant University Bulldogs, in the Northeast Conference, are steadily moving up in the world of collegiate basketball. The Providence College Friars have similarly been making big moves in the Big East Conference, earning around a half-dozen NCAA championship tournament berths in recent years.

Most Popular Teams In Rhode Island

New England Patriots (NFL) Boston Red Sox (MLB) Boston Celtics (NBA)
Boston Bruins (NHL) Brown University Bears (NCAA) Bryant University Friars (NCAA)

Horse Racing Betting In Rhode Island

Pari-mutuel betting on horse racing was the only state-sanctioned form of legal Rhode Island sports betting. Though originally not allowed by anti-gambling state statutes passed in 1896, horserace betting was made legal by voter referendum in 1934, and it wasn’t long after that Rhode Island’s first horse racing track, Narragansett Park was open for business. Within 14 years, a second track, Lincoln Downs, opened, leading to a booming horse racing and breeding industry in the state, but all that came to an end in the 1970s, leading both tracks to eventually – many years later – convert into full-on casinos.

Daily Fantasy Sports In Rhode Island

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) operators like DraftKings (based nearby in Boston, Massachusetts) and DraftKings are not restricted to Rhode Island players. The DFS industry has, since 2006, relied on language contained in the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) avoid classification as a “game of chance” and thus from gambling regulation, but that hasn’t stopped some states from declaring DFS to be the same as sports betting. Rhode Island, however, is one state that has lined up with the federal pronouncement, and in 2016 RI Attorney General Peter Kilmartin issued an opinion that DFS contests are indeed “games of skills,” at least in the view of the Ocean State.

Representative Raymond Gallison sponsored House Bill 7492 soon afterward, requiring DFS operators to become licensed through the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation, but so far no DFS regulatory legislation has gotten farther than that. No effort to ban DFS has been undertaken either, although the Rhode Island lottery has agitated for it. At any rate, it will be up to voter referendum to decide the fate of DFS in Rhode Island, where roughly 170,000 play fantasy contests for money.

Legal Rhode Island Sports Betting FAQ’s

Can I Bet Real Money On Sports In Rhode Island?

You can bet real money on the outcome of sporting events in Rhode Island, but if you don’t do it at a licensed and reputable offshore sports betting website or at an in-state sportsbook then you will be in violation of state law. Though nobody has been prosecuted for placing bets, it’s a wise move not to tempt fate that way, as no amount of winnings is worth years of your life behind bars on the off chance you find yourself before a judge. Fortunately, the aforementioned offshore sites offer utter financial and legal security for legal Rhode Island sports betting participants. They aren’t the only option for legal sports betting, but they are convenient, easy to use with attractive betting options, and bonuses.

Is Online Sports Betting Safe In Rhode Island?

Because the offshore sports betting websites like Bovada, 5Dimes, BetOnline, and SportsBetting are all regulated and licensed by their home countries, usually in Europe and the Caribbean, it can unequivocally be said that online sports betting is safe in Rhode Island. These websites have been around for the better part of a decade, in some cases longer, and they cater specifically to US bettors who had no options left to legally bet on sports after the 2006 passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act went after the banking institutions for processing online gambling-related transactions. All of these legal offshore sites are committed to providing the top level of security for their account holders and can be trusted to both accept wagers from US bettors and pay out when it’s time to disburse winnings.

Will Sports Betting In Rhode Island Ever Be Legal?

In you were ask this question a few years ago, it would have remained to be seen if legal Rhode island sports betting would ever become available to people other than users of offshore sports gambling websites. There are several promising indicators that broader legalization might be on the horizon. Once the state has their industry up and running for a while and has the ability to determine flaws and successes, they will advance the terms of legal sports betting in Rhode Island. The advancements likely to be seen in the near future are the addition of mobile betting or an online platform operated by the state lottery, the casinos, or an additional licensed operator.

Will I Get Arrested For Sports Betting In Rhode Island?

Sports betting in Rhode Island is approved by state law. In the past, violators could have been sentenced to five years in jail for repeat offenses. This went for organizers of sports gambling operations, namely bookmakers, just as much as the people participating. However, no arrests were ever been made in Rhode Island in connection with any kind of online gambling. So what gave? The state probably had bigger fish to fry than going after sports fans betting on their team to win a game here and there.

Fortunately, there’s no need to worry about being arrested for wagering on sports. Legal Rhode Island sports betting is available, and in most cases better, at reputable online gambling websites located overseas. Not only does US law not pertain to them, but they also have incentives and rewards that even local bookmakers can’t hope to beat.

What Is the Sports Betting Age In Rhode Island?

The minimum age to participate in any kind of allowable gambling in Rhode Island is 18. That’s younger than in many other states, where bettors have to wait until they turn 21. This is especially good news for young Rhode Islanders interested in getting in on the sports betting action available at offshore gambling websites, as most all of them accept deposits from players 18 or older, in accordance with their own local laws in their home countries. That can create a problem for US bettors looking to enjoy the legal sports betting offered by these sites since players could potentially run into legal trouble for underage gambling even if their state doesn’t specifically target bettors or online gambling for prosecution.

Are There Mobile Sports Betting Apps Available In Rhode Island?

All the top sports betting sites legal in Rhode Island have mobile versions and apps designed to work with both Android and iOS, and most are freely available for download on the appropriate service provider’s app store. They offer virtually the same streamlined betting experience as can be found on the desktop version of each site with the added convenience of being able to place bets no matter where you are.

Can’t make it home in time to see the start of a Patriots game? The bar closed before the last pitch of a marathon Red Sox game? No problem! The apps offered by Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, and 5Dimes, just to name a few, are truly exemplary for their speed and ease of use, and they’re honestly one of the greatest advantages of this kind of legal Rhode Island sports betting.

Where Is The Best Place To Bet On Sports In Rhode Island?

The best place to go for legal Rhode Island sports betting is one of the two Twin Rivers Casinos found only miles apart. If you are looking for big bonuses and convenience, offshore legal sports betting websites like Bovada or BetOnline have completely filled the niche. These websites offer features even most Vegas casinos can’t match, including hefty sign-up bonuses worth hundreds of dollars or a 50 percent match on winnings or initial deposits. Bets are available at these legal sports betting sites for sports across a wide spectrum ranging from hockey to professional video game competitions (otherwise known as eSports).

Should I Use A Local Bookie In Rhode Island?

Rhode Islanders should never, under any circumstance, make use of the services of a local, unlicensed bookmaker. The Ocean State has a long legal tradition of opposing bookmaking inside state lines, as the law outlawing the practice goes all the way back to 1896. Be sure to stick with one of the two licensed sportsbooks in the casinos or gambling websites located outside the US that are not only more convenient than local bookies but also have a far higher limit and much greater security, making them the obvious choice for legal Rhode Island sports betting.

Do Any Casinos In Rhode Island Have Sports Betting?

There are currently two casinos operating in Rhode Island, the Twin Rivers Casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton. They both are fairly new, having divested themselves of their former history as pari-mutuel betting centers. With their truly modern and quite spacious sportsbooks, you can lounge, drink, and gamble on sports with no problems. The casinos even offer promotions and member bonuses. Additionally, reputable and licensed foreign-operated gaming websites like Bovada, BetOnline, 5Dimes and SportsBetting are the best alternatives.

Is It Legal To Bet On Sports With My Friends In Rhode Island?

While betting on sports with friends is as popular in the Ocean State as anywhere else, with close to 30 percent of every person on the planet engaging in the practice at some point or other, social betting, is considered illegal like most other forms of gambling in the state. Rhode Island General Laws, Section 11-19-1 prohibits residents of the state from participating in games of chance publicly or privately, meaning in simple terms that even having friends over to your house for the purpose of laying money on the Patriots against the Jets is illegal if money or valuables change hands.

While it would be considerably difficult for law enforcement officials to prove that any law had been broken, illegal is still illegal until the passage of a new law to the contrary. That’s why legal Rhode Island sports betting absolutely has to go on at licensed offshore betting websites like Bovada, 5Dimes, SportsBetting or BetOnline or within the casinos. The websites are completely safe and trustworthy, being subject to the law of their own home countries in Europe and the Caribbean, but they are also outside the reach of US or Rhode Island law. Bettors should feel confident that they won’t run into legal trouble if they use these sites, but only if they use these sites and not any that are based in-state.