Almost a year after the state of Rhode Island launched mobile sports betting, Governor Gina Raimondo has signed legislation to remove an in-person registration requirement. SB 2919 and HB 8097 were signed yesterday, allowing bettors in the state to sign up for an account without having to visit a casino. The bills were fully supported and come at a time when in-person registration was more difficult due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Removing the Stipulation:
When mobile sports betting was approved in the state, players had to visit the Twin River Casino or the Tiverton Casino to sign up for an account. This was difficult in general, especially for players who are located further away from the venues. Most people are not going to make a special trip just to sign up for a sports betting account.
With the change, players should be able to sign up from the comfort of home in about a month. Operators are ready to get started. Before the bill was signed into law, IGT announced changes they are making to adapt to mobile registration.
IGT PlayDigital VP of sports betting, Charles Cohen, stated that IGT will be quickly adapting its technology to offer mobile sports betting registration if the option is approved.
A Welcome Improvement:
Rhode Island should see a nice influx of signups with the registration change. Right now according to the Department of Revenue, there are around 14,000 people who started the process of registration but never went to a casino to finish it. Only around 45% of downloads were fully activated.
Now with the coronavirus an issue, players were even less likely to visit a casino, especially when the casinos were closed. The need to stay home and social distance is key to slowing the spread of the virus. Once this registration change is implemented, players can easily stay in the home, sign up for an account and place a wager on the upcoming sports seasons, such as the NFL.