Rhode Island places a ‘high price’ on licensed sports betting

This weekend Rhode Island became the third US state to legislate for sports betting services following May’s Supreme Court repeal of PASPA’s federal mandate.

Rhode Island (population 1 million) follows its east coast neighbours of Delaware and New Jersey in moving to allow sports betting services within licensed casino premises.

On Friday, state governor Gina Raimondo (D) signed off on Rhode Island’s fiscal year budget, attaching a mandate for sports betting provisions.

Seeking to implement new laws by October 2018, state legislatures will allow for sports wagering to be serviced at Rhode Island’s two Twin River Casinos at Lincoln and Tiverton.

In the mandate, The Rhode Island Lottery has been appointed as overseeing authority of state-licensed sports betting enterprises.

At present, Rhode Island will limit sports wagering services to land-based premises, and will not allow for transactions to take place via digital verticals (mobile + desktop).

Despite Rhode Island’s forward momentum on sports betting, the state’s mandate has caught the eye for the high charges it has placed on betting services.

In the budget, Raimondo and legislatures propose that 51% of revenues be allocated to the state, with lead vendor IGT securing a 32% cut. This leaves a minor 17% hold for Rhode Island operators.

Raimondo’s forecast of $23 million being generated through sports betting in year1, has been labelled as widely optimistic, given Rhode Island’s size and the constraints that have been placed on sports wagering.

Put simply, with such high charges placed by Rhode Island will licensed casino operators be incentivised to offer the sports betting…

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