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Rhode Island Officially Launches Online Gaming

No Online Poker For Now

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Rhode Island became the seventh legalized online casino gaming state last week when betting went live on Tuesday. The Ocean State is added to a list that now includes New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Connecticut, and West Virginia – and Nevada also allows online poker.

The launch comes after the state legalized mobile sports betting in 2018. Rhode Island follows a similar gaming setup as in Delaware, allowing for a sole operator. Bally’s now runs sports betting and online casino gambling in the state as well as in Delaware. Rhode Islanders can now gamble legally for real money on slots, live dealer games, and table games through desktop and mobile devices.

“The live gaming product is very exciting,” Bally’s President of Rhode Island operations Craig Eaton told WJAR. “Not many states do that at all. So depending on demand we are ready and have room to grow.”

Online Casino Adds To Sports Betting

The launch followed a four-day technical trial that began on March 1. Bally’s currently offers about 170 online slots and online table games, according to the company.

The Rhode Island Department of Revenue estimated that iGaming could bring in around $25 million annually in new tax revenue for the state by 2025. Backers of the plan were pleased to see the launch after iGaming was officially approved in June 2023.

“I was proud to sponsor the legislation authorizing iGaming in Rhode Island, and I am excited for its implementation,” Senate President Dominick Ruggerio (D) said. “iGaming will ensure that Rhode Island remains at the forefront of the competitive gaming industry, reinforcing a critical revenue stream for the state while providing an alternative form of entertainment.”

While online poker was approved as part of the legislation, Bally’s doesn’t currently offer the game. It’s unknown if the company will eventually launch an online poker product. Currently, Bally’s is also considering an acquisition proposal to take the company private.

Adding poker would require some help from a shared liquidity market with other states. The state only has a population of 1.1 million, meaning a viable in-state only market may not be possible.