CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — There is a new way to play lottery games from home.
On Tuesday, the Rhode Island Lottery announced iLottery — games that can be played online or through the RILOT mobile app.
There are a variety of online games offered including Keno, Multiply the Cash, Texas Hold ‘Em, Emoti Collect, and Pink Diamond Crossword.
According to the R.I. Lottery, games and prize payouts are similar to the instant games sold in stores. With the VIP+ Purchase Power account, prizes will be automatically deposited into players’ accounts.
During the coronavirus pandemic, RILOT is allowing winners to claim prizes by mail.
Any winnings over $600 must be claimed at lottery headquarters on Pontiac Avenue in Cranston. Visitors will be screened prior to entry.
Players must be 18 years of age and must be physically located within Rhode Island borders to play.
The R.I. Lottery calls this a “win win” saying it is convenient for the customer and good for the state. The lottery is the third highest revenue stream for Rhode Island and it’s taken a hit.
Casinos have been closed for more than eight weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic and the state is losing millions in potential revenue. Twin River casinos brought in only $16M in March due to closure and Gov. Gina Raimondo said in her briefing on April 22 that deficit is adding up.
“Our revenues have absolutely fallen off a cliff,” she said. “It isn’t just the casino, although that is our third biggest source of revenue, it’s as you say, pushing back taxes, many people are out of work, generally the economy is softer. That’s much softer.”
Wednesday morning, Twin River executives held a conference call releasing the first-quarter report and discussing the damage done.
Twin River Lincoln reports a 67% drop in March compared to the same month last year. The company credits the closing of the Casino in March and the absence of sports to bet on.
Even when the casino’s in Rhode Island are allowed to reopen, guests can expect temperature screenings, enforcement of social distancing and more, according to Marc Crisafulli, President Twin River Casino
“The plan is likely to roll out in several phases with the first phase designed to open with more significant restrictions and limitations, including limited hours, fewer gaming options and reduced amenities,” Crisafulli said. “Over time, as experience and broader environmental factors in the state improve, the expectation is that some of those restrictions and limitations will be relaxed.”
Raimondo has not given a timeline as to when they would reopen but says she is in contact with Nevada’s governor to see how they plan on reopening Las Vegas.