Rhode Island online sports betting laws
It may be the smallest state in the union, but Rhode Island has taken big strides forward since it was the eighth to legalize sports betting late in 2018. The Ocean State loves betting on sports and it set a new monthly record in January 2021 thanks to a handle of $39.8million.
Administrative law and government relations attorney
Jennifer has a degree in Journalism from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C, in 2005. She's been living in Las Vegas helping clients in the casino and gaming industry, as well as other regulated businesses, across Nevada for over 15 years.
She has authored and co-authored numerous articles and books on US gaming law, including most recently, The Law of Regulated Gambling: A Practical Guide for Business Lawyers, American Bar Association (2020), and That (Expletive) Broad: Women Who Broke Barriers in the Casino and Gaming Industry (2020).
Is sports betting legal in Rhode Island?
Yes, Rhode Island sports betting is now completely legal, with both retail and online options available.
Is online sports betting legal in Rhode Island?
Yes, Rhode Island online sports betting is legal and available through one state-authorized mobile app.
How old do I have to be to place a bet in Rhode Island?
You have to be aged 18 or over to bet on sports in Rhode Island.
Register for an account, either in person at a licensed casino or with Sportsbook Rhode Island via your desktop, laptop, or mobile device.
You’ll need to give your personal details, including ID and proof of your age.
Deposit funds and take advantage of any sign-up welcome bonus on offer to new customers.
Rhode Island was one of a group of states that moved fast after the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was declared unconstitutional in 2018. That declaration effectively meant sports betting could be authorized by each state. Before the end of 2018, the Ocean State had passed legislation clearing the way for sports betting to start.
At first, the only way you could bet on sports in Rhode Island was by visiting one of the two casinos in the state licensed to take sports bets.
Rhode Island online sports betting soon followed in March 2019. It is run by the Rhode Island Lottery. Initially, the only way you could register for online betting was in person at one of the casinos. However, in response to the Covid-19 crisis, a new law was passed in 2020 that ended the in-person requirement.
To take part in Rhode Island sports betting, you must be located within the state. Now that you can register for online sports betting remotely, it is essential that you activate your geolocation tools on your device. That way, the sportsbook can be sure you are within Rhode Island and you can go ahead and start betting.
There is only one operation licensed to offer Rhode Island online sports betting. That’s Sportsbook Rhode Island, which is conducted by the state’s lottery and delivered by William Hill. This is the only sportsbook that is legally authorized to work in Rhode Island.
Yes, they are. It is highly advisable that you keep a record of all your winnings from Rhode Island sports betting.
Your sportsbook will issue you with a W-2G form if your winnings exceed a certain level. But even if it doesn’t, you will still be expected to include gambling winnings in your annual tax return.
Unlike many other states, which require you to be 21 or older to place sports wagers, you can enjoy Rhode Island sports betting once you are 18.
You don’t have to be a resident of the state to enjoy sports betting. But you do have to be within state lines to be able to wager online. Geolocation technology means your sportsbook should be able to check that you are within the state when betting on sports in Rhode Island.
Wagering on any event in which a Rhode Island college team takes part – yes, even one playing a game in a different state – is forbidden under the state’s sports betting legislation.
Offering odds on any political market is strictly forbidden for any sportsbook in the US. It is, therefore, impossible to bet on elections and other political events – foreign or domestic – in Rhode Island.
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) fans in Rhode Island will find DFS offerings are available for play. No legislation has yet been passed specifically to legalize and regulate DFS – at the same time, it is not expressly forbidden in law.
This curious situation goes back to 2016, when the state’s Attorney General ruled that DFS was a mixture of skill and luck, where chance was not the dominant factor. The Attorney General therefore opined that DFS was likely legal in Rhode Island and recommended that legislation be drafted to regulate it.
With the legalization of sports betting a couple of years later taking the spotlight, such DFS legislation has never been passed.
For Rhode Island sports fans, who have a number of big-name teams in nearby states to root for, there are several DFS games available. These cover sports including football, basketball, baseball, and hockey.
The stats will tell you that the Pittsburgh Steelers are the most popular team in Rhode Island. However, the New England Patriots’ Tom-Brady-inspired heroics of recent years have earned them plenty of fans in the state, which ensures a healthy betting handle when it comes to the NFL.
The growth in sports betting has been matched by the increased understanding of the need to encourage responsible gambling.
Sports betting should be a fun, harmless leisure activity – and for the vast majority of bettors, that’s just what it is.
However, if Rhode Island sports betting fans do begin to have a problem with gambling, there are resources within the state to identify the issue and help them deal with it.
The Rhode Island Council on Problem Gambling offers a series of online resources, including a guide to the early signs of problem gambling and assistance with self-assessment.
Above and beyond that, bettors who use New Hampshire sites also have access to:
The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG): A national organization that provides a national helpline, which can be contacted by phone or email, as well as links and resources for those combating problem gambling.
Gamblers Anonymous: A place for gamblers to book meetings, share their common problem and help others to recover from a gambling problem.
Gam-Anon: A self-help organization for the spouse, family or close friends of compulsive gamblers.
GamTalk: A 24/7 moderated online peer support forum for problem gamblers.
2018 - June
Sports betting in person is legalized within the state.
2018 - November
The first sports bet is placed at Twin River Casino in Lincoln.
Bill passed authorizing online sports betting in Rhode Island.
Remote registration for online sports betting is authorized.
There are only two physical locations in Rhode Island where you can enjoy in-person sports betting:
|Casino/Retail Sportsbook||Retail Sportsbook Partner||Address||Online Sportsbook Partner|
|Twin River Casino Hotel||William Hill||100 Twin River Road, Lincoln RI 02865||William Hill|
|Tiverton Casino Hotel||William Hill||777 Tiverton Casino Boulevard, Tiverton RI 02878||William Hill|
You can enjoy Rhode Island sports betting at one of the two casinos in the state licensed to take bets on sports. Alternatively, you can bet online using the sole sports betting app authorized by the state, Sportsbook Rhode Island, which is provided by William Hill.
FanDuel sportsbook is not licensed to operate as a sportsbook in Rhode Island, where the only sports betting app is the one authorized by the state and overseen by the Rhode Island Lottery. However, fans of Daily Fantasy Sports will find FanDuel DFS offerings are available in Rhode Island.
The only online offering is Sportsbook Rhode Island administered by the state lottery and delivered by William Hill. However, you can also bet on sports in person at the two casinos in the state authorized to take sports bets.
There is a strictly limited choice when it comes to Rhode Island online sports betting. You have to use the website and app of Sportsbook Rhode Island, the only authorized online platform in the state.