On Dec. 4, Twin Rivers Casino Tiverton launched its sportsbook, being the second location in Rhode Island to offer legal sports betting. The first location was at Twin River Casino, Lincoln, which launched sports betting on November 27. That doesn't seem to be enough for Senate President Dominick Ruggerio in his drive to increase Rhode Island's tax revenues. After a successful launch of land-based casino RI sports betting that saw Ruggerio place the ceremonial first bet at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, he is now back at work pushing for Rhode Island online sports betting. Ruggerio sees the popularity of daily fantasy sports sites like FanDuel and DraftKings, especially with younger generations, and thinks it would serve the state well to capitalize on that market. And FanDuel Sportsbook, as well as DraftKings Sportsbooks are already well-established in NJ sports betting. Ruggerio stated, "A lot of young people, millennials, are getting into sports gaming. DraftKings, fantasy football, things of that nature. There is an interest and I think we can pursue that interest by offering mobile gaming.” Twin River Sportsbook going mobile could really spike revenue.
But sports betting might not be limited to the Twin River Sportsbook owned Casinos in the future, as the state continually looks for ways to expand RI sports betting. At some point this may include placing sports bets at locations with Keno machines, sports bars and places with existing lottery agents. In the meantime, allowing mobile sports betting would allow residents of Rhode Island to not be dependent on their location, as sportsbook apps like Draftkings Sportsbook, Fanduel SportsBook and 888sport would be easy to use for even the most basic of online sports bets.
Rhode Island took action as soon as the US Supreme Court ended the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May 2018, with legal sports betting in RI kicking off just last week at Twin River Casino in Lincoln. The Tiverton location has now begun to take in-person sports bets. Online sports betting will also go through this Rhode Island sportsbook if Ruggerio's vision comes to life. His idea includes mobile sports bets going through Twin River, as Rhode Island residents would be age-verified through an account with the casino.
House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, who placed the inaugural sports bet in Rhode Island this November, understands that Ruggerio has spotlighted mobile betting in RI for the upcoming legislative session, stating, "If his proposal enhances the gaming experience for Rhode Islanders while providing additional revenue for the state, it is certainly an idea worthy of a thorough review."