Rhode Island Senate Passes Landmark Online Casino Bill

Senate Bill 948 Sub A, which is now headed to the House of Representatives for consideration, would allow individuals over the age of 21 to play table games remotely within the state using their computers or mobile apps.

Rhode Island Senate Bill Advances with Amendments to Ensure Live Dealer Requirement

Senate President Dominick J. Ruggiero, D-North Providence, expressed his enthusiasm for the legislation, highlighting the added convenience it would provide to Rhode Islanders. He emphasized that the bill’s objective is to strengthen the state’s facilities in the competitive regional gaming market while protecting a vital revenue stream that supports various state programs and investments.

The bill underwent a thorough committee hearing process, during which the initial proposal was scrutinized and amended. The revised legislation now requires a live dealer to be present, similar to the requirement in New Jersey law that restricts bets to be placed in Atlantic City.

Ruggiero reassured the public that the legislation is constitutional, targeting mature users, and includes provisions for educating problem gamblers while preserving the current revenue allocation percentages.

In the House, the bill will be paired with similar legislation introduced by Rep. Gregory J. Constantino, D-Lincoln.

Rhode Island Senate Greenlights iGaming Legislation, Bringing Online Casino Access Closer

The swift approval of the Legal iGaming legislation by the Rhode Island Senate has generated momentum for the bill, which was also supported by the Sports Betting Alliance. 

Under the proposed legislation, casinos will be permitted to offer online games through the IGT platform, the same platform used in the state’s brick-and-mortar casinos. The Rhode Island Lottery will assume the role of regulator. In April, IGT extended its sports betting contract with the Rhode Island Lottery for another three years.

The bill also includes changes such as raising the minimum age for online table games to 21, addressing gambling addiction treatment concerns, and adjusting tax rates. Rhode Island’s share of online slot revenue will increase to 61%, while the share of table game revenue will be reduc ufa365 ed to 15.5%.

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While online casino legislation in Rhode Island progresses, other states like New York, New Hampshire, Illinois, and Indiana have fallen short in passing similar bills this year.

If the Senate measure clears the House, Rhode Island could become a pioneer in providing remote access to table games, offering a new level of convenience and entertainment to its residents. Rhode Island is also seeking to introduce betting on college sports through a new bill that aims to lift restrictions on betting on in-state college teams, potentially allowing wagers on pre-season invitationals, conference tournaments, and even March Madness.