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Rhode Island Senate Committee to Review Mobile Betting Bill

Rhode Island Senate lawmakers are set to discuss today a piece of legislation that calls for the authorization of mobile sports betting within state limits

Authored by Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, Senate Bill 0037 would allow Rhode Island’s Twin River Lincoln and Twin River Tiverton casinos to operate a mobile betting app in addition to their physical sportsbooks.

The Lincoln-based gambling venue launched its sports betting facility on November 26 to officially bring legal sports betting to Rhode Island and make it the seventh state to go live with sports gambling following last year’s landmark SCOTUS ruling. Its sister property in Tiverton opened its sportsbook the following week. British bookmaker William Hill operates the sports betting facilities at both casinos.

Senate President Ruggerio revealed last year that he was working on a bill that would authorize mobile betting on the territory of the state. The Rhode Island Senate’s top lawmaker introduced the piece of legislation in mid-January. The bill was referred to the Senate Special Legislation and Veterans Affairs Committee and its first hearing was scheduled for today, February 6.

If the bill passes all legislative hurdles, it will authorize and “provide for online sports wagering through authorized hosting facilities” in the state.

The Convenient Option

Senate President Ruggerio has previously explained that the authorization of mobile betting would provide bettors with “a convenient option” and would “open up the economic benefits” beyond the walls of Rhode Island’s two in-person wagering facilities.

Sports betting is taxed at 51% on revenue and tax contributions are used to support “critical services.” Senate President Ruggerio has pointed out that mobile betting would represent an additional revenue generator that would offset reliance on taxes for state needs.

According to information from the Rhode Island Department of Revenue, football fans in the state wagered legally nearly $6.5 million on the Super Bowl at the state’s two operational sportsbooks. On Sunday, the New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams to capture their sixth championship.

Rhode Island is currently the only New England state to offer legal sports betting, which made it a focal point for fans of the Patriots from the region.

Although the state’s Revenue Department initially said it would not release Super Bowl betting stats, it eventually published those last night. Nearly 51,000 Super Bowl wagers were placed at Rhode Island’s two casinos, and William Hill paid out around $2.35 million on those. About 75% of all bets placed favored the Patriots.

All in all, the two betting facilities handled nearly $13.8 million in sports wagers in the period between November 26 and December 31, 2018. January financial data is yet to be released by the Rhode Island Lottery. The two sportsbooks generated revenue of a little over $1 million, which means that the state received more than $500,000 in tax revenue for the first weeks of legal sports betting.

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The post Rhode Island Senate Committee to Review Mobile Betting Bill appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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