The unlikely state of Rhode Island has come to love its gambling industry. This is because the once hesitant state has been bringing in good revenue from it. But because of their newly found love for legal gambling and the positive things that have come from it, RI also goes to great lengths to regulate and protect the industry. This love and optimism also allow for the state to remain open-minded and to explore new ideas with its legalization and regulation.
RI is a state that offers us good options. While this is true, there are still some forms of gambling that remain illegal in the Ocean State (such as poker and fantasy sports). Rhode Island is a small state in stature, making it easy to commute to neighboring states (like Massachusetts and Connecticut) to access more.
RI Legal Gambling History
The process for legalization took off in 1934 when RI opened its first racetrack. The second big win for Rhode Island gambling happened in 1973 when they voted in the legalization of the state lottery. But it wasn’t until 2012 until the state saw casino gaming made legal; making RI late bloomers who had finally decided to usher in a new era.
The legislation was never made to make sports betting legal in the state of RI, however, you are still able to bet on sports in the state. Senate Bill 2045 slide by seemingly unnoticed, which allowed for the existing two RI casino’s to allow players to wager on sports: Twin Rivers and Tiverton. The state’s governor saw the relatively problem-free tax dollars roll in through these two properties and would not intervene to change the bill. Since then nothing has been done and sports betting remains legal in the state of RI.
Online casino gaming is illegal in the state of RI and there are no plans of amending existing laws. Although, there has been speculation that RI could enter interstate gaming agreements (as seen in NJ, NV, and DE) sometime in the off-future.
RI Gambling Legal Status
In Rhode Island, it is legal for players 18 and up to play at retail casinos. It is to be noted, however, that poker remains illegal in the state of RI for everyone. There are zero poker rooms in the entire state. We haven’t seen the legalization of fantasy sports in the state yet either.
Sports betting at casinos is legal in the state of Rhode Island for those 18 years and older, as is all forms of legal gambling.
RI Physical Casinos
Casino gambling has only been legal in the state of RI since 2012 and is currently home to two land-based casinos:
For more legal casino action, it is a relatively short trip for those in RI to visit casinos in the neighboring states of Connecticut and Massachusetts. This isn’t to downplay RI at all or to say that the state doesn’t have enough. On the contrary, Twin Rivers Casino has one of the largest slot parlors in the world with over 4,500 games to choose from.
RI Legal Gambling FAQ’s
What can I and what can’t I bet on legally in the state of RI?
In the state of Rhode Island, the following are legal: casino gaming, sports betting, state lottery, and race betting.
It is illegal to bet on poker in the state of Rhode Island. All online casino gaming is currently illegal in Rhode Island as is daily fantasy sports.
What is the legal gambling age in the state of RI?
For all forms of gambling in Rhode Island, players must be at least 18 years of age to participate.
What are the Odds Draftkings and FanDuel enter Rhode Island?
You can be certain that Draftkings and FanDuel will enter the RI market if it opens up to them.