All that’s left before sports betting can become legal in Rhode Island is for Governor Gina Raimondo to sign on the dotted line. Less than a week after the House passed the state’s sweeping appropriations bill, which includes 15 pages about sports betting, the Senate gave its stamp of approval passing S7200A on Wednesday. The House passed it 66-7, and the bill unanimously moved out of the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday before reaching the full Senate floor.
The vote, originally schedule to take place at 4 p.m. local time, was delayed until after 8 p.m.
Raimondo is expected to sign the Rhode Island sports betting bill by the end of the week, according to the Providence Journal. Her 2019 budget includes a line item of $23.5 million in sports betting wagering for the state. The bill would allow for sports betting at the state’s two casinos, Twin River and Tiverton (set to open around NFL kickoff in September). It does not include the integrity fee that the professional sports leagues are seeking.
The Ocean State Will Become Second State to Pass a Law Post-PASPA to Make RI Sports Betting Legal, When Governor Gina Raimondo Signs Bill Into Law.
Rhode Island will become just the second state to pass a law legalizing sports betting since the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act on May 14. New Jersey was the first to pass a new law, and the state accepted its first sports bet on June 14. Delaware, which didn’t need new legislation, accepted its first sports bet on June 5.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina M. Raimondo announces she will sign state budget at 12 p.m., Friday. Bill will allow the state to begin offering sports betting at its two casinos. Casinos expect to be up and running "this fall."
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) June 21, 2018
When Raimondo signs off, Rhode Island will join Pennsylvania and West Virginia as states that have made sports betting legal but have yet to open their doors to sports betting. Pennsylvania’s Gaming Control Board is currently accepting comments to its temporary regulations, while West Virginia is crafting its own rules.
Though not directly referred to as a tax, the bill sets out a breakdown of where revenue from in-person, on-site sports betting will go – 51 percent to the state, 32 percent to the state’s gaming vendor, IGT, and 17 percent to the casinos themselves. The bill also forbids the integrity fee that the pro leagues have been lobbying for and includes a $100,000 annual payment to the towns of Lincoln and Tiverton, for “hosting” sports betting facilities.