PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Sports betting could get a whole lot bigger in Rhode Island, should a proposal make its way through the State House.

R.I. Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, who sponsored the state’s original sports betting legislation, is seeking to amend the law to include allowing residents the chance to bet on local collegiate teams.

“I think we can add to that, do something that Massachusetts is doing,” he told 12 News.

The bill would allow Rhode Islanders to bet on college athletic events that either take place in Rhode Island or in which any Rhode Island collegiate team participates, regardless of where it takes place.

In the bill, “collegiate tournament” means a series of collegiate sports or athletic events involving
four or more collegiate teams that make up a single unit of competition, meaning something like the NCAA tournament could be bet on, and without having to hop the border to Massachusetts.

If the bill makes it through the General Assembly, college basketball fans would have to wait until next year since the Providence College Friars fell to Kentucky last week.

“But I think it’s something that will raise revenue next year,” Ruggerio said.

“I’m also looking at iGaming. I think that will be a substantial revenue generator down the line where people can stay at home and basically do everything similar to what they do on sports betting,” he added.

The bill passed 6-2 in a meeting of the Senate Committee on Special Legislation and Veterans Affairs on Wednesday afternoon.

Senate spokesman Greg Pare told 12 News the bill will now go to the full Senate “likely next week.”