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Guide: Online Gambling in Rhode Island

Even a small place like Rhode Island has lots to offer gamblers. This gorgeous coastal state in the northeast of the United States has two casinos packed with plenty of betting options. Now residents and visitors in Little Rhody have even more to get excited about as the state became the first in New England to legalize online betting.

New Englanders might think more of its eastern neighbor when it comes to gambling. After all, Connecticut boasts some of the country’s largest and most popular casino resorts like Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. But if you want quality, modern gambling establishments, head across the border to Rhode Island. The state’s two casinos were both constructed and remodeled within the past year so you’ll get the latest games, new tables and completely stylish accommodations.

Not to mention, Rhode Island just became the first state in New England to legalize online gambling. You could enjoy a relaxing vacation by the fresh New England seaside while wagering on your favorite sports teams and cashing in on bets.

A Little History of Rhode Island Gambling

Before we get into the state-of-the-art gambling facilities that the Ocean State has to offer, let’s go back to when it all began. Rhode Island first legalized gambling in 1934. That year, laws passed permitting pari-mutuel betting on horse races. With the legalization of gambling, two race tracks opened in the state: Narragansett Park and Lincoln Downs. The two race tracks remained the state’s premier gambling establishments before closing down in the seventies.

Although the popularity of horse racing declined eventually in Rhode Island, the state took action by introducing the state lottery to its residents. That brought in all kinds of opportunities to win big by purchasing a lottery ticket. Referendums down the line ushered in pull-tab lottery games along with bingo. Not long after, off-track betting options became available at Newport Jai Alai and Lincoln Greyhound Park.

Then the competition began to heat up when the neighboring state of Connecticut opened their enormous Foxwoods Resort Casino. Gamblers began to cross the border for a chance to enjoy a full selection of casino games. Rhode Island legislatures took notice and decided to finally permit video lottery terminals at the tracks.

However, it wasn’t until 2012 that voters approved their own in-state land-based casinos. The Twin River Casino and Newport Grand Casino opened shortly thereafter offering casino and table games. By 2015, Twin River purchased its rival casino and now owns both Rhode Island casinos: the Twin River Tiverton and the Twin River Casino.

Gambling in Rhode Island: What’s Legal?

  • Year Rhode Island regulated offline and online gambling: 2019
  • Rhode Island gambling age: 18
  • Legal casino games in Rhode Island: Sportsbooks
  • Number of commercial casinos: 2

Americans (or even gamblers abroad) may have noticed a recent trend in the United States lately. It seems state after state have started to allow online gambling. Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, West Virginia and now Rhode Island all have something common: the legalization of online betting in some form or another.

So why all the recent changes? The new legal online casinos and sports book in the US have sprung up after the US Supreme Court finally ended the ban on sports betting. That led to new bills and discussions about the legalities of online betting as a whole. Not to mention, state legislatures and US businesses can’t ignore the tremendous financial opportunities in online gambling.

And so it begins! State after state have begun passing bills permitting online gambling throughout the country. However, as many already know, laws between each state differ when you cross the borders. So if you want to gamble online or at the casino in Rhode Island, you’ll want to know about the local laws and stick with legal online casinos. After all, gambling is meant to be fun and rewarding, and no one wants to end up in jail or paying a fine for breaking the law.

Both of Rhode Island’s land-based casinos, Twin River and Tiverton, allow slots, a variety of table games, and sports betting. They actually represent the only two brick-and-mortar gambling establishments in New England that permit sports book. Their venues offer an outstanding and exciting atmosphere complete with hundreds of TVs, odds boards, comfortable seating, a full bar and a kitchen serving up all kinds of tasty foods.

Rhode Island also allows social gaming, and one of the state’s casinos, Twin River, actually hosts social gaming on its premises. Social gaming typically doesn’t involve money bets, but focuses more on player interaction. Everyone often sits together in the same room chatting and competing for prizes playing games like slots, table games, poker and various tournaments.

The Rhode Island state senate first opened discussions of permitting statewide sports book in January of 2018. Finally, Governor Gina Raimondo signed the bill into law on June 22, 2018. Check that box: Sports betting is completely legal in Rhode Island.

As of March 2018, Rhode Island’s governor signed a bill that takes sports book from the casino and into the virtual world of online gambling. Democratic Senate President Dominick Ruggerio and Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello look forward to the money that this emerging industry will generate for the state’s economy. When looking at the projected revenue, they aren’t wrong about that. The state senate expects sports betting to generate $30 million in revenue, with $3 million of that coming from mobile and online sports betting.

While the law has passed, RI residents and visitors will have to wait a little while before any of the sports betting apps actually launch. The first mobile sports book app should launch by November 2019. However, with revenue projected to reach into the millions, more betting apps will likely follow in no time.

If you prefer slots, live casino or table games, as of yet, the state of Rhode Island has not passed laws allowing for online casinos to offer that type of gambling. US states, in general, are warming up to online sports book, but seem reluctant to permit a full selection of online casino games as of yet.

Legal Gambling in Rhode Island:

  • Land-based casinos
  • Sports book
  • Online sports book
  • Social casinos
  • Lottery
  • Off-Track Betting
  • Charitable bingo or gambling
  • Bingo in senior retirement homes
  • Rhode Island does not have any tribal casinos

Gambling laws can get complicated anywhere. Heck, anything related to the legal system can feel confusing for anyone. The bottom line: you want to make sure to stick with legal online casinos, state-endorse lottery and licensed land-based gambling establishments. Violation of gambling laws in Rhode Island could result in jail time or hefty fines. Here are a few things you should know in order to avoid arrest:

  • Engaging in or running illegal bookmaking could result in a fine of no more than $500 or imprisonment not exceeding one year. Upon a second conviction of a violation of this section, you could face imprisonment of up to five years.
  • Unlawful gambling outside of a licensed establishment could result in imprisonment of two years or a fine between $500 to $5,000.
  • Spending too much time in a gambling establishment, unless employed or the landlord, could result in jail time of up to 30 days. (If you find yourself spending too much time at a casino, you may have a gambling addiction and should seek help).

Little Rhody has lots of laws on the books regarding gambling. Of course, you can read the fine print online if you have any doubts or questions. At the end of the day, stick with the two land-based casinos we’ve mentioned when gambling outside of the home. You can also participate in online sports betting once the apps launch. Reading online reviews will help avoid blacklisted casinos and keep gambling fun and safe, as it should be.

Online Casinos in Rhode Island: What You Should Know

Online gambling has only just become legal in the state of Rhode Island. For now, the bill, which passed in March of 2019, only permits online sports book. Therefore, while in the state of Rhode Island, make sure to only play legal online casinos that offer sports book only.

None of the apps have launched as of March 2019. However, punters can expect to legally place online bets on the outcome of a range of sports, from football and ice hockey to basketball, esports and beyond. In addition, Rhode Island law will permit fantasy sports so that betters can create their own teams with top players and win cash doing it.

How to Choose the Best Online Casino in Rhode Island

Although Rhode Island online casinos and mobile betting apps haven’t launched yet, all over the world, gambling sites offer fully legal online betting platforms. Here’s what to look for in the future to choose the best online casino in Rhode Island.

Rhode Online Casino Games: What Can You Bet On?

For now, Rhode Island only permits betting on sports book online. You won’t have the opportunity to legally bet on games like slots, Blackjack and poker online. However, when choosing a sports betting app or gambling site, look out for casinos that offer a range of sports. If you enjoy a certain sport, like tennis, rugby, darts, esports and so on, check with the online casino’s betting selection to make sure they offer bets on that particular sport before joining.

Rhode Island Online Casino Sign Up Bonuses

Legal online casinos look for ways to attract new gamblers to join their site with welcome bonuses or sign up offers. These bonuses can get quite lucrative and match your deposit by hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars. Sports book bonuses may also offer free play or cash back bonuses to new players. When choosing a Rhode Island online casino, make sure to look for the one with the biggest welcome bonus.

Ongoing Casino Bonuses and Promotions

The best online casinos will go above and beyond to ensure that their loyal players get all the bonuses and benefits that they deserve. Before joining a casino, take a look at the current promotions for members of the casino. In the case of online sports betting, you’ll want to look for an app that has ongoing promotions like deposit matches, free play, reload and cash back bonuses. In this way, you’ll continuously earn rewards, have more credits for betting, and ultimately end up winning more money.

VIP Rewards and Loyalty Points

A quality online casino should offer benefits to loyal players. The best online casinos will have a loyalty points program. Typically, betters earn points for every wager. As points accumulate, it allows them to qualify for bonuses, free stuff, prizes and other rewards. High rollers and frequent gamblers should also choose an online betting platform with a VIP Club to get the royal treatment and other special rewards.

Online Casino Reviews: What Do Other Players Have to Say?

As the online gambling industry emerges in Rhode Island, players will begin talking about their experiences. Online casino reviews and player feedback offer a great opportunity to learn about the quality of a gambling app before actually joining the online casino. You can discover the best online casinos through word of mouth or find out about potentially rogue casinos that don’t treat their players with the level of service they deserve.

Customer Support

Chances are, if you live in Rhode Island, you don’t have any or have very little experience in using an online betting platform. Perhaps you had a chance to play in other states or while abroad, but still, questions may arise about how to use the platform, issues with the system, bonus terms and so on. For this reason, make sure to choose a casino with a range of support options, ideally available 24/7. If not open around the clock, the casino should at least offer support available in your EST time zone. You should have a choice of contact options like live chat, Skype, email, social media and a phone number.

The Bottom Line on Rhode Island Online Gambling

For now, online sports book represents the only form of online betting permitted in the state of Rhode Island. The bill passed in March of 2019, but residents and visitors of the Ocean State will still need to wait a bit longer to actually get involved in online sports betting. The first app will likely launch by November 2019. However, if you love gambling and sports betting, the future looks bright, whether in town for holiday or residing in the great state of Rhode Island.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are Rhode Island Online Casinos Legal for Non-Rhode Island Residents?chevron

You don’t have to actually reside in Rhode Island to benefit from online sports book. Now that online sports book has become legal in the state, anyone can enjoy a sports betting app as long as they are within state limits.

What types of games do Rhode Island online casinos have available?chevron

Although Rhode Islanders have gotten excited about the legalization of online betting, the law limits legal online casinos to strictly offer sports book. Residents and visitors of the state cannot legally bet on other casino games online such as slots, Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, poker, scratch cards, Baccarat and so on. The state does not allow live casinos on the internet either. If you reside or visit the state of Rhode Island, betting on anything other than sports book could result in an arrest, fines or jail time.

Can I play online casino in Rhode Island if I don't live there?chevron

The bill permitting online sports book in Rhode Island only just passed in March of 2019. The industry has some time to establish itself and launch betting apps. Still, legislatures have released statements regarding the recent law. Those who don’t live in Rhode Island will have the opportunity to place bets online once sports book apps begin to emerge. Of course, actual residents of the state of Rhode Island can also enjoy online sports book as well.

Do offshore online casinos operate in Rhode Island?chevron

The bill permitting online sports book in Rhode Island only just passed in March 2019. The industry has a long way to go before punters in the Little Rhody will actually have the ability to bet on sports online. Betting apps still haven’t launched, but according to the news circulating, current land-based and licensed casinos in the state will run the mobile gaming apps. Once online betting apps begin to launch, make sure to bet at legal online casinos only. So far no offshore online casinos are set to legally operate in Rhode Island.