New RI sports betting bill would scrap in-person registration

A new Rhode Island sports betting bill could allow for the remote registration of online betting accounts.

Last week, Representatives Nicholas Mattiello and Marvin Abney introduced amendment H 8097, a piece of legislation that would remove the requirement for Rhode Island residents to register online sports betting accounts in person at a land-based casino.

Currently, Rhode Islanders can begin registering a sports betting account on their mobile devices, but in order to complete the process, they are required visit one of the state’s casinos.

What’s covered under H 8097?

If signed into law, H 8097, would change the definition of an online gaming account to “an account opened by a patron that such patron shall use for the deposit and withdrawal of funds used for online sports wagering.”

The amendment would also change the existing legal language regarding geolocation so that it will only be necessary “at the time when the player is wagering” and not “when the player logs into the system.”

The bill is currently with the state’s House Finance Committee and would come into immediate effect if it is passed into law.

Sports betting in Rhode Island

Sports betting in Rhode Island was initially restricted to two land-based casinos, which was detrimental to the market. In August 2019, the Twin River branded mobile sports betting app went live in the state.

Now that the state has a mobile betting option, residents can place bets using the mobile app, rather than travel across the state to visit one of the two land-based sportsbooks.

However, bettors that wish to wager on the mobile app must first visit a casino sportsbook to activate their mobile sports betting account. Once the account has been set up, they will be able to wager remotely from anywhere within the state.

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