In the small eastern American state of Rhode Island and a pair of Democratic legislators have reportedly introduced a measure that would make it easier for people to place mobile sportsbetting wagers.
According to a Wednesday report from local television broadcaster WPRI-TV, the move from Rhode Island House of Representatives members Nicholas Mattiello and Marvin Abney comes as ‘The Ocean State’ is facing an ever-rising budget deficit and is expected to be imminently followed by the introduction of a companion proposal from the leader of the Rhode Island State Senate, Dominick Ruggerio.
WPRI-TV reported that Rhode Island legalized mobile sportsbetting in June of 2018 although current rules require potential bettors to first register in person at either the Twin River Casino Hotel or Tiverton Casino Hotel. The legislation introduced yesterday would purportedly eliminate this obligation in hopes of attracting even more people to download and enjoy the tiny state’s sports wagering app.
Mattiello and Ruggerio reportedly released a companion statement in which they asserted that the removal of the in-person registration requirement is particularly necessary as many people are now limiting their travel and social interactions due to the ongoing the coronavirus pandemic.
Reportedly read the joint statement…
“Especially during these times of social distancing, enabling people to register online for sports gaming provides an added convenience that will also enhance revenues for the people of our state. With many team sports ready to resume play shortly, this will provide a safe entertainment option for Rhode Islanders to participate in sports gaming from their homes.”
WPRI-TV reported that the proposal from Mattiello and Abney would additionally amend existing regulations to mandate that a computer server verify that a bettor is physically located within the borders of Rhode Island ‘at the time the player is wagering’ rather than in keeping with the current stipulation of ‘when the player logs onto the system.’
The broadcaster reported that the introduction of the legislation comes as local Republican activist Daniel Harrop is pursuing a legal challenge against the constitutionality of legalized sportsbetting in Rhode Island. The campaigner purportedly lost his initial action before the Rhode Island Superior Court early last month but has since vowed to appeal this decision to the higher Rhode Island State Supreme Court.