Governor Raimondo has included tax revenue from sports betting in her budget for the upcoming financial year, so she is not likely to veto the mobile wagering measure.
The mobile betting bill passed the full House floor with overwhelming support from legislators and only eight negative votes. The legislative piece will allow Twin River Management Group, the operator of the state’s two casinos, to roll out mobile wagering services.
Rhode Island’s two casinos – Twin River Tiverton and Twin River Lincoln – launched in-person sports betting late last year, making the state the first one in the New England region to offer legal wagering services.
According to initial projections, Rhode Island’s mobile betting market could generate up to $8 million in tax revenue for the state this year.
A group of House Representatives introduced an amendment to the bill that asked for an opinion from the state Supreme Court whether the authorization of mobile betting represented gambling expansion. If the practice was deemed a form of gambling expansion, it would require voters’ approval in a statewide referendum. The proposed amendment was voted down yesterday paving the way for a speedier roll-out of digital betting in Rhode Island.
House Majority Leader Joe Shekarchi said yesterday that the bill does not aim to expand gambling, but to provide a new way of placing bets to keep up with technology.
Source: GMB / Casino News Daily