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Rhode Island

If getting sports betting legalized after PASPA was a race, Rhode Island would have at least gotten a medal. The Ocean State passed a sports betting bill just a month after the historic ruling, but it’s important to note that the state’s betting infrastructure is much different than most.

Legal and licensed apps:

Sportsbook Rhode Island
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All legal ways to bet on in Rhode Island

Is online sports betting legal in Rhode Island?Yes
Is in-person sports betting legal?Yes
Is daily fantasy sports legal?Yes
Is betting on college sports legal?Yes, with restrictions
Is horse racing betting legal?Yes
Is greyhound betting legal?No
Is political betting legal?No
Is eSports betting legal?No

It is common for bettors in northeastern states surrounding Rhode Island to be unable to wager on in-state college teams, and RI is no different. While betting on college sports is allowed, wagering on a University of Rhode Island basketball game, for example, is not.

Aside from in-state colleges, it is also illegal for bettors in the Ocean State to bet on politics and eSports. While there is only one legal mobile sportsbook available to bettors in RI, residents do have the option to use DFS apps or racebooks that are not related to Sportsbook Rhode Island.

Online sports betting in The Ocean State

The US Supreme Court overturned the Professional Sports and Amateur Sports Protection ACT in May 2018. By June of that same year, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed S2045 into law, which allowed for retail sports betting to launch in the state's two casinos.

Sports betting officially launched in Rhode Island in November 2018, thanks to S2045 being signed into law. Not only did this bill allow for the state's two casinos to take legal sports wagers, but it also established what the tax structure would look like, on top of how the revenue from sports betting would be divided amongst the state.

While getting sports betting legalized that quickly was impressive, the state was still losing money due to the lack of volume in the market. As a result, lawmakers developed SB37, which called for the state’s lottery, which oversees the sports betting industry, to run online sports betting.

This didn’t mean the lottery could start handing out licenses to online operators, as the state did not want the online betting operation to be a bidding process. With that, the RI Lottery worked hand in hand with William Hill to create their own mobile sports betting app, Sportsbook Rhode Island.

Compared to brand-name mobile betting apps, Sportsbook Rhode Island certainly won’t blow anyone away, but its simple layout and live betting function will at least satisfy bettors throughout the state. This sportsbook has been the only game in town for quite a few years, and it does not look like that will change anytime soon.

All legal RI sports betting apps in 2024:

Sportsbook app

Launch date

Sportsbook Rhode Island (William Hill)

September 4, 2019

Sports betting & gambling legislation in RI

Regardless of how big or small the betting market is in Rhode Island, bettors must still follow the rules and regulations laid out by the Rhode Island Lottery. One of the biggest rules is that bettors must be at least 18 years old to place a wager. While lawmakers debated remote registration extensively, SB2919 and HB8097 eventually made it clear that bettors could create an account with Sportsbook Rhode Island from anywhere in the state.

Remote registration and the gambling age are just a few of the rules and regulations regarding sports betting that are overseen by the Rhode Island Lottery. The state lottery is also in charge of withholding 5.99% of all gambling winnings for state tax purposes.

Once the issue of remote registration was addressed in 2020, the state remained stagnant on gambling-related topics until 2023, when Senate Bill 948 Sub B was signed into law by Gov. Dan McKee in June. This new gambling bill legalized iGaming in the Ocean State. The first online casino in RI, delivered by Bally's Corporation, launched officially on 5 March 2024 and is available on both the iOS mobile app and desktop form.

Are online casinos legal in Rhode Island?Yes
Are retail casinos legal?Yes
Are social sportsbooks legal?Yes
Are sweepstakes/social casinos legal?Yes
Is online poker legal?No
Is the lottery legal?Yes
The launch date of sports betting in Rhode Island?November 26, 2018
How many legal sports betting apps are there in RI?1
How many legal retail betting sites are there in RI?2
Is remote registration allowed?Yes
Legal age for sports betting in Rhode Island?18+
Rhode Island's tax rate for betting/gambling winnings5.99%
Who regulates sports betting in Rhode Island?Rhode Island Lottery

Most recent updates from the RI sports betting & gambling scenes

  • April 3, 2024: Rhode Island experienced a substantial 42% decline in sports betting revenue in February prior to the launch of iGaming. The state's revenue for February totals $2.9 million, a significant drop from January's $5 million. February's revenue fell short by 19.4% compared to the previous year.

  • March 5, 2024: Bally's Corporation introduces its online casino in Rhode Island, eight months after the state legalized iGaming. Players aged 21 and above can access around 170 slot and table games via desktop or iOS mobile app.

  • June 23, 2023: The Governor of Rhode Island has signed legislation that will bring iGaming to the state in 2024.

  • April 25, 2023: Casinos in the state of Rhode Island claim loss of revenue in the month of February is due to Massachusetts launching sports betting.

  • April 11, 2023: The company International Gaming Technology has secured an extension in order to keep providing their services to the Rhode Island gambling industry.

In-person sports betting sites and locations

Retail sports betting in RI is limited to two locations, both of which are casinos run by Bally’s.

While horse racing is legal in the Ocean State, there are no racetracks or off-track betting locations anywhere in the state. As a result, anyone interested in betting on horse racing must download and use a racebook that is offered to the state, like TVG.

Retail Sportsbook

Location

Bally’s Twin River Casino Resort

100 Twin River Rd, Lincoln

Bally’s Tiverton Casino & Hotel

777 Tiverton Casino Blvd, Tiverton

Sports betting in neighboring states

Residents who are tired of the limited betting options in Rhode Island can cross the state’s border to find a vast sports betting market in both Connecticut and Massachusetts.

To read more about what sportsbooks are available in both CT and MA, click on their name in the info box below.

StateOnline sports bettingRetail sports bettingDFSHorse Race betting
ConnecticutLegalLegalLegalLegal
MassachusettsLegalLegalLegalLegal
New YorkLegalLegalLegalLegal

Sports betting revenue impact on Rhode Island's economy

Information regarding the sports betting license fee in Rhode Island is not available. For what it’s worth, it is unlikely the state will hand out any more licenses for the time being anyway, as the Ocean State seems complacent with its current retail and online operators. Rhode Island has one of the highest tax rates in the country, at 51%. New Hampshire has the same rate, which makes sense since both states have a monopoly on mobile sports betting.

With the current sports betting infrastructure in Rhode Island, the state's earning potential is limited. Only one mobile sportsbook and two retail betting locations certainly won’t yield a high monthly revenue, and that has shown with the state averaging around $3 million a month.

Rhode Island is one of three states with a monopoly in their sports betting infrastructure, and if these states do well in one area, it is tax revenue. With the high tax rate for operators, RI has made over $91 million in tax income since legalizing sports betting, which is more than some states that have a full market of mobile betting apps and retail facilities.

Rhode Island sports betting record months:

  • Sports betting handle: January 2023 ($62,317,384)

  • Revenue: November 2021 ($6,703,144)

  • Tax income: November 2021 ($3,418,603)

RI sports betting revenue in 2024

Month

Handle (MoM)

Revenue (MoM)

Tax income

Feb. 2024

$38,758,578

$2,888,343

$1,473,055

Jan. 2024

$44,808,686

$4,999,921

$2,549,960

2024 Total YTD

$83,567,264

$7,888,264

$4,023,015

Rhode Island - Some commonly asked questions (FAQ):

Are there any legal restrictions in RI’s sports betting landscape?

The most significant restriction to Rhode Island’s sports betting market is that there is only one mobile betting app available in the state due to a monopoly.

How much tax revenue has Rhode Island generated from sports betting?

Rhode Island has one of the highest tax rates for sports betting in the country at 51%, and as a result, the state has made over $89.8 million in tax revenue since November 2018.

What is the most popular sports franchise amongst Rhode Island residents?

Since RI is not the home to any pro sports teams, the most popular pro team in the state is the Boston Red Sox. A big reason for this is that the Red Sox Triple-A team plays in RI.

What is the biggest case of illegal gambling in RI?

Seventeen individuals were arrested back in 2016 due to their involvement in an illegal gambling ring being run out of Rhode Island. Two of those individuals were former professional baseball players.