Michael McKean is an experienced writer with a portfolio that includes work on the subjects of sport, gambling, travel and finance. With a background rooted in journalism, Michael first ventured into the professional writing world based in Switzerland, where he wrote for a number of language and travel sites and magazines before moving into the world of sports writing and gambling sites.
As an avid soccer fan, who follows everything from the Scottish lower leagues to the European elites, he has earned himself a solid reputation as a reliable football betting tipster and predictor. Outside of work, Michael has always gotten involved with grassroutes football everywhere he has worked and lived - UK, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Brazil - and still isn’t shy when it comes to pulling the boots on himself. As well as soccer, he has also developed a love of North American sports, particularly ice hockey - a love which began in Switzerland and saw him venture across the pond to follow the NHL. Moving away from dry land, he’s also a keen longboard surfer and is happiest when writing with a view of the ocean.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island is one of the many US states where sports betting is legal, but laws on online gambling are vague or non-binding. If you were wondering, is online gambling legal in Rhode Island? Then this guide will do a good job highlighting the various laws on gambling and sports betting in the Ocean state.
We'll also explore any online gambling Rhode Island may offer, including the two land-based casinos that offer slots and table games. Keep reading to learn more about Rhode Island gambling laws and our recommended online sports betting and online gambling operators.
The legal status quo in Rhode Island – RI legal gambling landscape
If you live in Rhode Island, you are one of the American residents who enjoy legal and regulated sports and Daily Fantasy Sports betting. The state doesn't have strict legislation governing online gambling; however, land-based casinos are legal and operational.
The history of gambling and betting in Rhode Island dates back to 1896 when all gambling activities were declared illegal. In 1934, the same law was changed to allow pari-mutuel betting on greyhound and horse racing. In 1973, Rhode Island introduced a state lottery and later welcomed inter-state lotteries in 1988.
The legislators approved video gaming terminals in 1992, and voters passed a law to convert the Twin River racing track into a state-operated casino in 2012. In 2016, the Rhode Island Attorney General declared Daily Fantasy Sports to be legal. Two years later, sports betting became legal, and in 2019, the state announced plans to make mobile sports betting legal.
Today, Rhode Island ranks among the many states with favorable sports betting laws in the entire country. However, online gambling Rhode Island remains in the shadows.
As far as speculations are concerned, the laws surrounding online gambling Rhode Island could change anytime. So it's worth keeping an open mind. You can also refer to our guide on which states allow gambling in the US to keep yourself updated.
Sports betting in Rhode Island – for the sports enthusiasts
In mid-May of 2018, the Supreme Court made a far-reaching decision, ruling in favor of New Jersey in a PASPA case that had denied several states the right to legalize sports betting. Immediately after the ruling, some states, including Rhode Island and New Jersey, prepared to legalize sports betting.
In November 2018, the Ocean state legalized sports, and Twin River Casino became the first sportsbook in the region. In March 2019, the state authorized the creation of an app that allowed remote wagering of sports bets at the State-owned casino, Twin River Casino.
Today, two casinos are in operation, the Twin River in Lincoln and Tiverton Casino Hotel in the eastern part of Rhode Island. Both these casinos also have a mobile wagering platform where customers can simply sign up online and from the comfort of their own devices before proceeding to place bets. As far as sports betting is concerned, there aren't as many licensed sites to offer betting services in Rhode Island.
First, the entire online sports operations in the state are run by IGT and William Hill through a strategic partnership. Revenues from sports betting are divided amongst the participating casinos, the state of Rhode Island, and the two operators, IGT & William Hill.
Online sports betting is offered by specific sites licensed to operate within Rhode Island. Fantasy sports and horse & greyhound betting are offered by a couple of sites that are also licensed and regulated by the state.
Nowadays, several states are legalizing sports betting, and it's pretty obvious why this is becoming a trend. Many states are netting millions of dollars every year through taxes, something every state aspires to. One of the most recent US states to legalize sports betting is Arizona. Please feel free to browse our review on Arizona online gambling sites and get an up to date picture of the exact changes that have been made there.
You can refer to the table below to compare some of the recommended sports betting operators in Rhode Island.
Online gambling Rhode Island – casino gaming in RI
Online casino gambling in Rhode Island is unregulated. That means the state doesn't control any online gambling activity within its jurisdiction. In other words, you can bet on your favorite casino games using offshore online casinos without the fear of prosecution.
Most casino fans use offshore casino operators to play their favorite online casino games. There is always risk involved when using offshore operators, so you still need to be very careful when considering signing up with one of these sites. A rule of thumb is to pick the most reputed and secured offshore operators that accept residents of Rhode Island.
Whether or not online gambling will be legalized soon remains a speculative subject. It's only fair to note that as more neighboring states like Connecticut move to legalize online casinos, Rhode Island will soon be under pressure to legalize online gambling. The simple reason being to increase state revenue through taxes instead of letting those extra dollars cross the state borders. That said, we recently answered one of the most popular questions among Connecticut residents: "Is online gambling legal in CT?" Be sure to check out the answer here at Captain Gambling.
That said, online gambling Rhode Island isn't regulated; hence no state-licensed sites are offering online casino games. However, several offshore Rhode Island online gambling sites accept Rhode Island residents.
Like online casino gambling, online poker isn't regulated in Rhode Island. This doesn't mean it's illegal or that you cannot play online poker games. Instead, it means you should carefully choose those sites you want to pick when playing online poker. This is particularly true since there's no licensing or regulation governing who should or shouldn't offer online poker gambling services.
That said, there are no live poker rooms in the Ocean State, and you probably don't want to travel to Connecticut just to play your favorite poker games. Instead, you want to register with reputed online poker sites and play from the comfort of your home. A rule of thumb is to choose the most trusted and reputed sites that allow you to play from Rhode Island.
You should know you are not likely to be prosecuted for gambling in RI with an offshore site, but it’s your responsibility to check the safety of any site you are considering. Residents of some states are dealt with more harshly, online gambling South Dakota for example, is a punishable offense.
Fantasy sports in Rhode Island – the ultimate sports betting niche
Fantasy sports betting in Rhode Island is legal and in operation. Before the Attorney General ruled that DFS is legal, many people were already playing it. Even then, DFS betting activities were operating openly in the state.
After the ruling, the Attorney General recommended the formulation of rules and regulations to govern DFS betting. The goal is to pass a bill that will help protect consumers and citizens. No bill has passed so far, so there's no regulation governing Daily Fantasy Sport, but it's legally operated throughout the state.
The legal DFS betting age is 18 years and above, and some of the common sports include NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS. DFS is also legal in nearly all the neighboring states, such as New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
You may want to refer to the comparison table below for some of our recommended DFS betting sites in Rhode Island.
Social casinos in Rhode Island – explore the fun games
If you would rather play social casino games instead of online casino games, there are several options for you. However, no law regulates social gambling, unlike, for example, sports betting. Social gambling is assumed to be legal by default since it doesn't require participants to wager any money.
Even then, players can win real money or other prizes with social casinos during contests or tournaments. Some of the common social casino games include poker and blackjack. Social casino games are often played via social media sites such as Facebook, Google+, Bebo, and MySpace.
Popular social casino sites in Rhode Island include Huuuge Casino, House of Fun, Billionaire, and Double Down casinos.
Other betting options in Rhode Island – what are the alternatives?
Besides sports betting and online gambling, there are several other betting options available for the residents of Rhode Island. Charitable gambling, for instance, was legalized in 1979. Some of the permitted games include poker nights, raffles, and Las Vegas nights. Charitable gambling is governed by the Rhode Island General Law and regulated by the police.
State lottery in Rhode Island is also legal. It was passed into law in 1973 and has been in operations since 1974. The lottery offers various games such as Wild Money, Powerball, Keno, and Mega Millions.
Horse racing and greyhound racing are also legal, both legalized in 1977. Other sports betting events include charitable and non-profit bingo, which has been in operation since 1979. That said, unlike in other states that have legalized online sports betting, Esports betting is illegal in Rhode Island because they do not fall under the professional sports league.
Editor's recommendation — the best operator for Rhode Island
Now that you know enough about sports betting and online gambling in Rhode Island, it's time to review our recommended operator. Before picking any site to feature as our top choice, we thoroughly analyze the site's reputation, security, betting markets, licensing, promotional offers, and the quality of customer support.
That said, William Hill is our recommended operator in Rhode Island.
William Hill is one of the highly reputed sportsbooks and online casino operators in the United States. The site features easy-to-use software that's ultra-intuitive and modest at best. Being a licensed operator in the state, William Hill only offers sports betting for Ocean State residents.
The operator has up-to-date security features, including full SSL encryption. That means all your personal details are always protected from malicious third parties. The customer support services are also exemplary, and you'll find instant help in case of any issues with your wagering account.
What does the future hold for betting and gaming in Rhode Island? What you should know.
Sports betting and online gambling in Rhode Island are pretty common among players. Others like online poker, social and charitable gambling may not be as popular, but they still have a significant fan base. The legality of online gambling Rhode Island is perhaps one of the highly anticipated developments in the near future.
That said, residents have been gambling online since online casinos went mainstream. Since then, Rhode Island law enforcement hasn't prosecuted online gamblers, and it's not likely that they will start anytime soon.
Looking into the future, online gambling might make it into law through voter referendum and may not via constitutional amendment. Rhode Island voters have passed two gambling bills via referendums, in 2012 and 2016. So maybe things could work out this way for online gambling in Rhode Island. If such a bill was to pass, it's most likely that the state's two casinos will be the first operators.
Conclusion - the facts about online gambling Rhode Island
Rhode Island has legalized sports betting but not online gambling or poker; however, residents can still gamble on their favorite casino and poker games using offshore operators, though they always proceed with caution. The best gambling sites are reputed, licensed & regulated in other states, and accept players from Rhode Island. Similarly, Daily Fantasy Sports are legal but not regulated. Others like social gambling, charitable gambling, bingo, and horse racing are also legal.
Rhode Island isn't the only state to legalize sports betting while leaving online gambling in the dark. Gambling sites in Colorado as well as other states like New York, Texas and Arizona also do not regulate online casino gambling at the present time.
❔ What are the laws surrounding online gambling in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island is one of the US states where residents can bet on various sports and casino games. If you are looking to play your favorite casino games in Rhode Island, there are a couple of options for you. A rule of thumb is to choose a site that's highly reputable, secure, and that welcomes residents from Rhode Island. In our reviews we cover more about the legality of online gambling in Rhode Island.
🕵️ Is online gambling legal in Rhode Island?
If you are looking to play your favorite casino games and win real money on Rhode Island online gambling sites, you should first understand the legal gambling landscape as it can vary wildly from state to state. You can check our helpful guides to get all of the details about the legalities of online gambling in Rhode Island.
🤔 Are Rhode Island gambling laws strict?
Understanding the laws surrounding online gambling in Rhode Island will help you choose suitable online casino operators so you can play with confidence. Similarly, understanding the laws and regulations will help you avoid potential legal issues. You can check our reviews to learn more about Rhode Island online gambling laws and how you may be legally allowed to gamble in the state.
🏈 Is sports betting legal in Rhode Island?
If you want to bet on sports in Rhode Island, you should first understand the legality of sports betting. As with other US states, sports betting laws have seen recent amendments in Rhode Island. To learn more about the legality of sports betting, refer to our informative reviews.
💸 Can an online casino keep your winnings in Rhode Island?
Before signing up with any Rhode Island online gambling sites you want to be sure you can withdraw your winnings, and the same goes with residents of any other state. If you live in Rhode Island and play with an offshore casino, you should ensure the site is legit, secure, and highly reputed. Refer to our reviews to understand why it’s important to use sites that are regulated by the state, and how to be safe if you’re considering off-shore options.