Rhode Island
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Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo has signed into law a bill that is to permit mobile sports wagering across the state, following its General Assembly approving legislation earlier this month.

Coming less than a year after two retail sportsbooks launched in the state, which sees Rhode Island as the only jurisdiction in New England to have legalised the activity, a significant spike was reported earlier in the year as the NFL’s Patriots successfully marched to Super Bowl glory.

Currently only permitting bets at the region’s two Twin River properties, Lincoln’s Twin River Casino and the Tiverton Casino Hotel, this green-light is to see sports betting added to the lottery run operation.

Earlier estimates place launch in November at the latest, with Rhode Island set to continue to receive 51 per cent of all winnings from the activity, which is amongst the highest rates in the country.

The measure is to see the creation of an app, that consumers could utilise to access the relevant offerings at Twin River, from within state parameters.

Individuals would be required to set up accounts in person at either property, after which they could place a wager from anywhere within the Ocean State, with geolocation technology to ascertain that users are physically within bounds.

Signing of the bill was widely expected, with, as reported by the Boston Herald, Raimondo’s proposed budget for the fiscal year that commences on July 1 containing a contingency of $30m from sports betting, including $3m in new revenue from the mobile activity.

Proposals were brought by Democratic senate president Dominick Ruggerio and Democratic house speaker Nicholas Mattiello, who were seeking added revenue coupled with more convenient sports betting.

Ruggerio said of the importance that the legislation proceeds: “The new in-person sportsbook that opened in November has been very popular, with lines sometimes stretching out the doors.

“It is an entertainment option that many Rhode Islanders enjoy, and visitors from outside the state are also flocking to our gaming facilities to place their wagers on sporting events.

“Expanding to mobile gaming would provide a convenient option for those wishing to enjoy this form of entertainment, and open up the economic benefits beyond the walls of Twin River.

“I can envision a group of friends from out-of-state spending an evening out in a local establishment, where they can both watch the game and place a wager.”

Mattiello added: “This revenue, along with the revenue we anticipate from an expansion to mobile gaming, is a tremendous benefit to the state.

“It’s an added benefit that we can capture revenue that would have otherwise gone to an illegal market. When you consider that up to 97 percent of sports wagering is done illegally, it makes good sense for the state to increase its revenue by providing an entertainment that can be done safely and legally.”