Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo has signed off on sports betting making the pastime legal in the Ocean State with a launch date of October 1.
The move will allow sports wagering at Twin River in Lincoln and the coming gaming facility in Tiverton although Rhode Island will become the state with the highest sports betting tax rate.
President of the Senate Dominick J. Ruggerio said the budget “maintains the progress we have made in lowering taxes to improve our business climate while also investing in economic development, and it provides Rhode Island with the highest percentage of revenue in the nation for sports wagering.”
Sports wagering is estimated to provide $23.5m in new revenue to the state in 2019. The amended legislation directs 51 per cent of net sport-gaming revenue to the state, with operator IGT receiving 32 per cent, and Twin River receiving 17 per cent. The towns of Lincoln and Tiverton will receive additional compensation of $100,000 per year for serving as the host communities. The terms of the agreement also provide that if IGT enters into an agreement elsewhere which provides another state with a more favourable rate, the company must match those terms in Rhode Island.
“Sports wagering provides the state with a revenue stream that supports critical priorities, such as investing in roads and schools, without increasing the tax burden on citizens. Rhode Island taxpayers will be receiving the highest percentage of revenue in the nation from sports wagering,” said President Ruggerio. “Legal sports wagering in Rhode Island will provide revenue for critical state services while offering a new entertainment option for Rhode Islanders. This provides a legal means for Rhode Islanders to enjoy a form of entertainment in which many already engage.”