Rhode Island sports betting has been live since November 2018, but the state has seen limited growth since that time. Both retail and Rhode Island online sports betting is available, but bettors in the state are limited in terms of betting options.
The size of Rhode Island makes it hard for the RI sports betting industry to really take off, and the state already had a very small gambling infrastructure in place. Allowing RI online sports betting has helped, but the top sports bettors are still willing to travel elsewhere to place their bets.
When Rhode Island first launched sports betting, there aren’t many other competitors in that part of the country. That has slowly started to change, and by the end of 2021, the Northeast Region of the US will have several sports betting markets.
The largest sports betting month on record in Rhode Island was in November 2020, when the state saw a handle of more than $35 million. These numbers have continued to grow in RI sports betting since 2018, but it also speaks to how small of a market there is in the state.
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Rhode Island Sportsbooks
Rhode Island online sports betting is available, but bettors are limited to just one online sports betting option. The Rhode Island Lottery runs the online sports betting market, and they have partnered with William Hill to offer a mobile app.
William Hill uses IGT to power its online sports betting app, and this is one of the biggest sports betting operators in the US. Since William Hill does not have any competition in Rhode Island, it does not have to offer bonuses or promotions in order to attract customers.
Remote registration is available in Rhode Island, although that didn’t always used to be the case. This change in the law allows bettors to simply download the William Hill mobile app and create an account to begin placing bets.
The retail sports betting site in Rhode Island is limited to just two options. Both of these properties are owned and operated by Twin River and have been the only retail sportsbooks in New England, but that is set to change.
Twin River Casino is located in Lincoln, RI, and Twin River Tiverton Casino is located in the town of Tiverton. William Hill is also the company that powers and operates sports betting at both of these locations.
RI Sports Betting Rules
Rhode Island sports betting has some very simple rules in place, and it also has the lowest legal gambling age in the US. The legal age to bet on sports in RI is just 18 years of age, where it is 21 in most other betting markets in the US.
The other two biggest rules that are included in the RI sports betting law is that you are within state lines, and you cannot be on the self-exclusion list. This list would include athletes, coaches, referees, or anyone else that could have an effect on the outcome of a sporting event.
Betting on college, professional, and international sporting events is allowed in RI sports betting, and William Hill is able to determine which betting markets it chooses to feature. William Hill is an international operator, and that allows it to have a large menu of events that take place outside of the US.
One of the biggest restrictions is that betting on collegiate events taking place in Rhode Island or featuring teams from Rhode Island is prohibited. Outside of that, sportsbooks are able to offer betting on a wide range of Division 1 athletic competitions.
Another restriction is that betting on esports is not allowed in Rhode Island and cannot be offered by William Hill.
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RI Sports Betting Regulations
Rhode Island was looking to legalize sports betting before it was even allowed by the federal government. In January 2018, S 2045 was introduced into the RI legislature, and that would set the framework for the industry that is in place today.
The day after the US Supreme Court voted to lift the federal ban on sports betting, lawmakers in Rhode Island held a meeting to make the final amendments to this bill. On June 22, 2018, Governor Gina Raimondo signed the sports betting bill into law.
The initial sports betting law called for in-person registration at one of the two casinos owned by Twin River. After the state continued to struggle to see a boost in revenue numbers, that law was changed in 2019 to allow for remote registration.
All of the sports betting in Rhode Island is done through the Rhode Island Lottery, and IGT provides the technology to operate both retail and online sports betting.
Rhode Island has made some changes to its sports betting law, and that should allow the state to see some growth in 2021 and beyond. Now that statewide mobile sports betting is available, it is much easier for bettors to place bets and get in on the action.
Rhode Island sports betting will never become one of the biggest markets in the US based on its size and population. Despite some severe limitations, the option of having sports betting is a huge win for residents and visitors.
Most people don’t associate Rhode Island with the world of sports, but there are enough “local” teams to drive sports betting. Launching sports betting in 2018 was a landmark moment in Rhode Island, and the state has continued to make improvements to the industry since that time.