Rhode Island Senate approves mobile sports betting

News on 15 Feb 2019

The Rhode Island Senate approved mobile sports betting legislation this week by a majority vote of 31 to 4.

The legislation allows mobile wagering through the Twin River casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton, within State lines.

“The new in-person sportsbook that opened in November has been very popular, with lines sometimes stretching out the doors,” lead sponsor  Senator Dominick Ruggerio, said.  “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.”

Mobile wagering customers would be required to register for an account in person at Twin River and operator computer servers would have to be hosted at the licensed casinos, a controversial measure that effectively gives Twin River a monopoly on the vertical.

Opposing Providence Senator Sam Bell, said:  … this is America, we are supposed to be a free market economy where we have free market competition.”

The measure now moves to the House of Representatives, where Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has introduced similar legislation.

In other news on U.S. sports betting legislation, Pennsylvania’s HB498, sponsored by Democrat Tina Davis, calls for tax revenues generated by legalised sports betting to be reallocated to provide property tax relief to Pennsylvania citizens.

Davis’ bill amends Act 42 of 2017 amended Title 4 (Amusements) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to establish sports betting in this Commonwealth to redirect the 34 percent of daily gross sports betting revenue, currently deposited into a General Fund, be channeled into the Property Tax Relief Fund.

The proposal also calls for the additional 2 percent local share assessment that sports betting hosts currently pay, be deposited in to the General Fund.

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