A bill that would authorize mobile sports betting in the state of Rhode Island has been approved by the state’s Senate.
On Wednesday, the state Senate voted to allow mobile sports betting in Rhode Island through the Twin River casinos that operate in the state.
The Senate voted 31-4 in favor of the bill.
The bill must now be voted on by the House. According to a report from WPRI, House Communications Director Larry Berman said that the bill is expected to get a vote sometime this month.
If the bill passes the House vote, Governor Gina Raimondo will need to sign off on it before mobile sports betting in Rhode Island can become a reality.
If the bill is successful, Rhode Island’s mobile sports betting model will share similarities with the Nevada sports betting model.
Residents will be able to bet on sports from anywhere within the state, but they will need to set their account up in person at one of the state’s Twin River casinos before they can place bets on a mobile device.
At the moment residents and visitors can only place wagers on sports by visiting one of the Twin River casinos in the state.
Although the bill passed the Senate, prior to the vote lawmakers discussed why Rhode Island is choosing to grant Twin River a monopoly over sports betting in the state.
According to a report from SportsHandle, Senator Sam Bell, who voted against the bill, said: “By passing this law, we would be giving a monopoly to one business, Twin River. This is America. Why don’t we set up a real free market?”
At the moment only the two Twin River casinos in Rhode Island can offer sports betting. The casinos currently work with International Game Technology (IGT) and William Hill to offer sports betting in the state.
In terms of taxation, Sportsbooks in the state only hold onto 17% of sports betting revenue while the state will receive 51% revenue and IGT will continue to receive 32% of revenue.