Rhode Island Governor Puts Sports Betting Revenue In Budget Plan

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RI sports betting

The governor of Rhode Island is counting on revenue from sports betting to help balance the state’s budget, according to media reports.

RI and sports betting?

Gov. Gina Raimondo included $23.5 million in revenue from legal sports betting in a plan to fund state operations.

Wagering would be allowed at the state’s Twin River casino (and another one that is proposed) under the plan.

What would that take? Here’s more from the Providence Journal:

The Rhode Island constitution requires voter approval to introduce new types of gambling to the state, but companion legislation introduced by Senate President Dominick Ruggerio Thursday says previously approved ballot measures would allow sports betting as long as it takes place at Twin River’s Lincoln or proposed Tiverton casino.

The budget plan does not count on online sports wagering, although that’s an issue that may get a look in the legislature this year.

RI not ready to go on sports betting yet

Of course, there are a few hurdles for Raimondo’s plan to happen.

Rhode Island still would need to legalize sports wagering under state law. And it would require a victory for New Jersey in the US Supreme Court in its case against the federal sports betting ban, PASPA.

The latter is an issue that has already been flagged by lawmakers in the state. While analysts believe New Jersey has a good chance of winning the case, it’s not a foregone conclusion. The Bristol Courier reported that the House speaker in RI is wary of counting on sports betting revenue before SCOTUS rules.

States ramping up interest in sports wagering

Rhode Island is hardly the only state that is toying with the idea of legalizing sports betting ahead of the NJ sports betting verdict.

Legislation has either been introduced or is planned in upwards of a dozen states already: