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Rhode Island Senate Approval of Budget Bill Could Bring Sports Betting to State

Over the span of the past several months the state of Rhode Island has been eyeing the perspective of developing a sports betting field which could provide entertainment and reliability to its players. Now a proposed bill for the regulation of the sector which is part of the budget bill is headed to the Senate. This Wednesday is set to see a final vote, potentially approving it and paving the way for sports wagering within the borders of the state.

The month of May witnessed a revolutionary ruling of the US Supreme Court which overturned the main ban existent which prevented states from developing the field. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was issued in 1992 and ever since then wagering on sports events has been prohibited in the majority of states across the US. Ever since then many of the states have been working on the appropriate regulation which to bring sports betting to their region.

Now Rhode Island is well on its way to provide the needed framework for sports betting as well as to become one of the first states to give it the nod. The state’s Senate Finance Committee gave its approval to a bill which goes by the name of S7200 striving to set Rhode Island’s funding and overall budget. It covers a wide spectrum of sectors regarding the fiscal year ending on 30th June 2019.

Among the appropriations it introduced, there were a total of 15 pages dedicated to sports wagering in Rhode Island which gives hope to the community that the state might welcome betting on sports events by the end of this year. Last Friday witnessed the passing of the proposed bill by House of Representatives with a 66-7 vote in favor. The package amounted to some $9.6 billion and over the entire 395 pages, every subject of the upcoming year was discussed in detail.

Potentials of the Proposed Sports Betting Arrangement

When it comes to gambling within the borders of the state, some $23.5 million is expected to be devoted to the potential sports betting field which could take over the state. According to the wording of the budget bill, sports wagering will be available at Twin River Casino located in Lincoln, as well as the future casino location in Tiverton which is still under construction.

Following additional arrangements regarding the overall way in which betting on sports is performed, the agreement was added to the bill. An important detail of the proposed bill is the fact that every casino operator who chooses to provide sports betting will be obliged to pay 51-percent tax of the overall sports gambling revenue generated.

The slot machines and other devices producer International Game Technology is set to receive a total of 32 percent of the revenue. Twin River Casino which will welcome sports betting and be the venue which will host it is going to receive a 17-percent share of the revenue.

In addition to the traditional sports wagers, Twin River will be able to introduce a specifically designed stadium-style gambling which will offer players the chance to watch live dealers via special wide screens placed across the venue. A total of $4 million will be devoted to this improvement aiming to bring more to Rhode Islands sports betting field.

The budget bill also proposes $100,000 to be paid to the town of Lincoln in the form of an annual flat fee which would strive to compensate that the location hosts sports betting. In the meantime, the same amount is also going to be allocated to the town of Tiverton.

The almost unanimous vote was a sure sign that S7200 could progress ahead towards the Senate which is the upper house of the Rhode Island General Assembly and potentially bring sports wagering to the state.

 Author: Hannah Wallace

Hannah Wallace has been part of our team since the website was launched. She has a master’s degree in IT.