Rhode Island launches online sports betting, 18+ bettors celebrate

As sports betting becomes more accessible throughout the United States, 18-year-old bettors in Rhode Island have one of the best situations coming into the NFL season.

In the Plantation State, sports betting was legalized in November 2018. Since then, Rhode Islanders have wagered nearly $136 million in sports bets at the state’s two casinos. As a result, the state received 51% of the $7.7 million profit after expenses.

Those numbers are only expected to grow. For  2020-2021, sports betting is projected to generate $26.3 million in revenue for Rhode Island, with $20.7 million coming from wagers placed online alone.

However, as of last week, bettors have another option outside Twin Rivers Casino and Tiverton Casino: an online app.

Now instead of betting in brick and mortar establishments, sports wagers are available on phones, tablets, computers. It’s a huge step for the state, especially since they’re one of the few that allows sports betting for ages 18 and up.

“You can now bet on sports from anywhere in Rhode Island with mobile sports wagering,” Sports Book Rhode Island posted on Twitter.

Rhode Island is the first New England state to offer a mobile option for sports betting. They are also the only state in the region to offer a sportsbook. There won’t be any competition for RI until summer 2020 when New Hampshire expects its mobile system to be up and running.

While this is a big win for 18-and-up sports gamblers in Rhode Island, the reception was not warm from everyone. Former GOP Providence mayoral candidate Daniel Harrop, sued over the issue, arguing that the state Constitution required voter approval for the legalization of sports betting.

To begin using the sports betting app, patrons must register their online account at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, RI before gaining access to mobile betting. The only thing players need is an ID proving they’re over 18 years old and a device to support the application.

Sports Book Rhode Island will utilize International Game Technology, UK-based online technology provider, for the online sportsbook. The Rhode Island lottery also uses IGT for their tech system.

Things can be tough for bettors at 18 years old. But for the ones in Rhode Island, things got much easier. Just in time for football, no less.