Sports Betting Arrives in New England – A Rhode Island Update

Sports Betting Arrives in New England was first posted the day after sports betting opened. The smallest state in the country, Rhode Island, was the eighth state in the country to approve legalized sports betting on November 23, 2018.

I expanded the article to include all phases of Rhode Island’s approved legalized sports betting, including mobile wagering.

When Twin River first opened, visited Twin River Casino & Hotel to get a first-hand look.

Sports Betting Arrives in New England

Related Post – Rhode Island Casino Specs and History

The Opening

Like horses at the starting gate, a huge line had formed, and excitement built until at 3:00 pm EST when Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello, Senate President Dominic Ruggerio, and John Taylor, executive chairman of Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc., placed the first bets, marking the opening of the Twin River Casino sports wagering.

Now, if you’re thinking Vegas sportsbooks, the likes of Caesars or Westgate, think again. It’s more like Golden Gate downtown.

Tiverton, Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc‘s other RI casino, will go live with a sportsbook sometime next month. The Tiverton Casino sportsbook is very small.

Sports Betting Arrives in New England
The racebook at Tiverton has 10 seats.

The idea is to start ASAP and get ahead of other New England casinos. Twin River’s setup was temporary. “Phase 1″ is located on the third floor in the simulcast wagering area. Staff told me that this “Phase 1” area would be kept even after the main sportsbook is completed.

To start with, only Twin River and Tiverton will accept wagering. However, online wagering is part of the plan. The next phase will be to complete the real sports book area.

Jeff Moony, the Staff Writer at the Providence Journal, wrote, “Rhode Island will be poised to go online whenever lawmakers are ready. IGT and William Hill power Rhode Island sports wagering. IGT is behind computer technology, while William Hill is setting the lines.”

Sports Betting Arrives in New England
Lines continued to form, here at 8:00 pm.

A Few Points

  • The State of Rhode Island takes 51% of the sports betting revenue at the start
  • 32% goes to IGT as vendor operations
  • Only 17% of the revenue generated by sports betting goes to Twin River.
  • Twin River takes wagers on Pro sports and college games, but Rhode Island colleges are not available for wagering.
  • Only pre-game betting is available. In-game betting will only be ready when mobile online wagering is in place.
Sports Betting Arrives in New England
Racebook setup, third floor, Twin River

Rhode Island Sports Betting – Mobile Betting

The state debuted retail sports betting in 2018 without online/mobile gambling. After the Rhode Island, legislature and Rhode Island Lottery allowed in-person registration to be rescinded, sports betting revenue increased. Mobile registration is now possible.

Comparing Rhode Island and New Hampshire Sports Betting
The Rhode Island Sports Betting Mobile app

In early September of 2019, mobile sports wagering platforms launched, which helped profits rise beyond 2019 for the gambling industry. The Rhode Island Lottery recently released its revenue report for the year, showing a 171% increase in revenue from 2019 to 2020. A combined (mobile and retail) $200.2 million bet on sporting events resulted in a 56% growth from 2019.

General Information

Rhode Island
Timeline Rhode Island became the eighth state to legalize sports betting on 11/21/18. As a result, twin River Casino opened the first sportsbook in New England.
Betting OptionsThe Sportsbook Rhode Island mobile app and website are powered by IGT and William Hill.
Legal AgeThe only legal requirements are that you are at least 18 years old, inside state lines, and not on a self-exclusion list.
Betting RestrictionsWagering is not allowed on “any collegiate sports or athletic event that takes place in RI or a sports contest or athletic event in which any Rhode Island college team participates, regardless of where the event takes place.”

But Wait, There’s More

Who Oversees Sports Betting?The Rhode Island Lottery is charged with regulation and oversight of the industry. IGT functions as a partner of the lottery and casinos, helping to operate sports betting. As such, sports betting tax revenue is split as follows:
State: 51 percent
IGT: 32 percent
Casino: 17 percent
Additional Wagering OptionsSimulcast wagering on races occurring throughout North America is available at the state’s two casinos, and online wagering is permitted through sites such as TVG, BetAmerica, and TwinSpires. Twin River Hotel and Casino and Tiverton Hotel and Casino provide Las Vegas Class III gaming owned by Bally’s Corporation.
Can I Set Betting Limits?It is possible to set betting limits for Rhode Island online sports betting and on-site sports betting at one of the two brick-and-mortar casinos. Check the online casino rules or the brick-and-mortar casino rules and regulations for the specific rules around betting limits.
WebSiteSportsBook Rhode Island

On your mark, get set, ………BET!

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