New England has a rich sports culture, with nearby Boston cultivating passionate fans of all sports. That makes states like Rhode Island, containing elite cities like Providence, perfect for the sports gambling industry. In this guide to Rhode Island sports betting, find out everything you need to know about betting on sports in the state and what options bettors have as they seek their next payout.
Betting on sports in Rhode Island is a positive experience, largely because of the amount of sports wagering options at Rhode Island sportsbooks. Bettors can wager on NFL games featuring the local NFL team, the New England Patriots, along with the rest of the league. They can also bet on MLB, NBA, NHL and college sports including March Madness. More niche sports like horse racing and mixed martial arts are also available, as well as popular international sporting events.
Rhode Island sports betting, unfortunately, does not include mobile betting at this time. However, online betting from mobile accounts or desktop computers might be coming to the state soon, which could open up the possibility of sportsbook giants like William Hill joining the fray in a state where only IGT currently operates. With nearby New Hampshire offering sports betting online, Rhode Island had virtually no choice but to allow the same to remain competitive.
Legislation was passed in 2019 to bring online betting to Rhode Island, the importance of which was underscored during the coronavirus pandemic that closed many casinos, as the United States looked to eradicate coronavirus. There is no definitive launch date for mobile sports betting yet, but that is expected to change in 2020, with that policy likely to make it easier for customers with a gambling problem to self-exclude among many other positives.
Whereas mobile sports betting is not yet up and running in Rhode Island, Rhode Island residents are able to wager at two physical sportsbook locations. Those locations are the Twin River Casino Hotel in Lincoln and the Tiverton Casino Hotel. While this is not a large number of sportsbook facilities, it is sufficient in the eyes of many given how small Rhode Island is as a state.
Should Rhode Island add mobile sports betting to its repertoire, these casinos would be offering licenses to sportsbooks to operate.
While neighboring states like Massachusetts and Connecticut have failed to capitalize on the momentum for legal sports betting after the Supreme Court decision to overturn PASPA, Rhode Island struck while the iron was hot in 2018. A bill was introduced in January to allow for sports betting, which was folded into the budget from Governor Gina Raimondo and passed successfully. By June of 2018, the proposal had moved through the state senate and sports betting was up and running.
The Rhode Island Lottery is responsible for overseeing the sports betting rules of this state, with everything from the permitting of new sportsbooks to the allocation of tax revenue going through them. Their biggest task will be the implementation of mobile sports betting in the near future, which will bring the state closer to nearby New Jersey, which is considered one of the top states in the country for sports betting.
The legal gambling age in Rhode Island is 18, rather than the 21 that most states have gone with.