Placing bets on sports events on kiosks placed in Rhode Island’s two casinos is now law, after Governor Gina Raimondo signed enabling legislation Monday morning.
The law, which legislative leaders said was necessary to capture additional revenues from betting on the NCAA men’s “March Madness” basketball tournament and to alleviate long lines at the casinos’ “sports book” windows takes effect immediately.
It allows for bets on sports to be placed at unmanned kiosks, in addition to windows staffed by casino workers at the Twin River casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton.
“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,” said Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, (D-Providence), principal Senate sponsor of the legislation. He cited long lines at the casino gaming windows as one reason to allow the kiosks.
Companion legislation passed in the House was sponsored by Speaker Nicholas Mattiello.
The new law also permits placing bets from mobile devices, provided they are located within the confines of the two casinos. Twin River and the Rhode Island Lottery Commission, which oversees the casinos, have indicated that they intend to develop a mobile “app” to take sports bets by early this June.