Rhode Island Exploring Online Gambling PossibilitiesDecember 18, 2017 12:48 pm
During a WPRI television interview last week, Rhode Island State Senate Finance Chairman William Conley made a surprise announcement that his state was seriously considering allowing legalized online betting should New Jersey win its PASPA challenge case before the Supreme Court.
Responding to a question concerning the much publicized sports betting case, Conley stated his belief that state rights will ultimately prevail when the Supreme Court finally gives its decision sometime in the spring/summer time. Conley then said that such an outcome would provide a lucrative opportunity for Rhode Island to explore, explaining:
“I do think that the Senate President thinks that that’s something that we should look at seriously and that it could bring in revenue.. It wouldn’t be impossible to get a piece of legislation through this session if the Supreme Court rules that the states have the ability to do it.”
Rhode Island has shown itself to be a progressive state in the past as far as gambling is concerned, and over the years has introduced legislation allowing the lottery, parimutuel betting, casinos, and video lottery terminals. Nevertheless, its gambling market has experienced increase competition from neighboring states in recent times, with the situation likely to increase even more once Pennsylvania launches its own online gambling industry, and joins New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware in a shared online poker liquidity pool.
Legal sports betting and regulated online gambling therefore provides The Ocean State with an important opportunity to improve the competitiveness of its gambling market, whilst giving its revenues a significant boost. Following Conley’s comments, Rhode Island now joins a number of other states who could end up legalizing and regulating online poker in 2018, with other contenders including California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Maryland.
The list doesn’t end there, though, with other possible candidate states including Ohio, Vermont, and Washington, especially considering the pieces of legislation introduced in the past, as well as the strong support shown by their individual poker playing communities.