RI lawmakers approve dropping in-person sign up for mobile sports betting

Business News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The R.I. General Assembly approved a bill, making it easier to participate in online sports betting in the Ocean State.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Dominick Ruggerio and House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, will allow you to register online to use Rhode Island’s mobile app for sports wagering, rather than having to go sign up in person at Twin River in Lincoln or Tiverton. It now heads to Gov. Gina Raimondo’s desk.

“This is one responsible move we can make to help counter some of the revenue losses the state has experienced during the pandemic,” Ruggerio said. “Gaming and the lottery are our state’s third-largest source of revenue, and anything we can safely do to make up for some of the lost revenue helps to support public services.”

The in-person signup was originally required for more security when the state launched the app last year, but in the wake of COVID-19, signups have hindered, according to mobile sports wagering executives.

“Making it more convenient to use our mobile sports wagering app provides an entertainment option that you can participate in from the safety and comfort of your own home,” Mattiello said.

While online sports betting came to an abrupt halt as all professional sports stopped playing during the COVID-19 pandemic, several professional leagues have announced plans to resume play later this year.

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