Players in Rhode Island can legally play at various daily fantasy sports sites. Although no specific bill has been passed legalizing them, the Attorney General published a decision in 2016 stating that the sites were “likely legal” under state law. As such, these games became, in effect, legal and players can enjoy all the benefits of the sites below without any worry about breaking state or federal laws.
- We have thoroughly researched all of the Rhode Island state laws pertaining to gambling.
- We follow all the latest stories in the gambling industry, keeping a close eye on local media outlets such as the Providence Journal and Eyewitness News.
- We implement our insider’s view into comprehensive casino guides and reviews such as our Beginner’s Guide to Blackjack or How to Play Slots Guide.
- Rhode Island gov
- Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation
- Providence Journal
- WPRI.com Eyewitness News
Gambling Laws in Rhode Island
Rhode Island gambling laws are a tricky matter. For a lot of different niches in the industry the situation is that, in theory, playing is legal but, in practice, there is a limited number of ways to bet legally in Rhode Island. In the following sections, I will take you through each form of gambling in detail. But first, let’s get the overall picture.
There are two land-based casinos in the state, as well as several horse and greyhound racing tracks, which accept bets legally. There are currently no tribal casinos in the state, and there are no ways to bet online, whether it be sports betting, casinos or lottery. However, you can place legal sports bets at certain licensed and registered establishments.
Rhode Island Sports Betting
Sports betting has been legal since 2018. The state became the sixth in the Union to accept a legal sports wager in November of 2018. However, online sports betting remains impossible, as there is no infrastructure to support sites to operate legally in the state. All unlicensed establishments should be avoided.
Rhode Island Online Casinos
While you can gamble at commercial casinos in Rhode Island, there are currently no legal and safe online casinos that cater to RI residents. This may change in the future as there are no specific laws prohibiting this, but at the moment, any site offering gambling to Rhode Islanders is operating outside of the law.
Rhode Island Online Poker
The situation for Rhode Island online poker is the same as for online casinos. This means that, while it is not explicitly illegal, there are no legal sites for players to enjoy. You can check back on this page anytime to find out if this has changed.
Rhode Island Lottery
The Rhode Island lottery has been running since 1974 and has earned almost $7 billion for the State’s general fund, making it the biggest voluntary source of funding there. You can buy tickets as long as you are at least 18 years old. Rhode Islanders can buy tickets for multi-state lotteries, such as the Mega Millions. However, you can’t currently buy lottery tickets online.
History of Gambling in Rhode Island
As one of the oldest states in the nation, Rhode Island’s gambling history is long and storied. In recent years, things have begun to open up from a very tightly restricted situation a hundred years ago. Read below to see the highlights.
|1896||All forms of gambling are outlawed in the state of Rhode Island|
|1934||Bets on horse and greyhound racing are legalized|
|1973||The Rhode Island State Lottery is formed|
|1994||Residents vote against the legalization of commercial casinos|
|2012||Voters support the licensing of state-owned Twin River casino|
|2016||A judge declares that daily fantasies are a game of skill, making them legal under State law|
Rhode Island State Facts
It is the smallest state in the union. It was the first of the Thirteen Colonies to renounce its allegiance to the British crown. Rhode Island has lots of interesting facts and pieces of trivia attached to it. Did you know, for example, that the state has more shipwrecks per square mile? Rhode Island is also home to the world’s largest bug. It is a 58-foot-long plastic termite (928 times the size of an actual termite) that lives on top of the New England Pest Control office in Providence. You can see some other interesting facts about Rhode Island below.
|Biggest Offline Gambling Location||Twin River Casino|
|Gambling Commissioner||Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation|
|Spoken Languages||English 84%, Spanish 8.07%, Portuguese 3.80%|
|Biggest Local Sports Team||Providence Bruins|
|Rhode Island Tax Authority||Division of Taxation|
|Link to the State Law||http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/|
|Gambling Winning Tax||5.99%|
|State Website Link||https://www.ri.gov/|
|Famous Local Gamblers||Anthony Zinno|
Gambling Age in Rhode Island
You can gamble in Rhode Island as long as you are at least 18 years old, because the state recognizes individuals as adults as soon as they reach this age. However, the exception to this is for drinking alcohol. See below for some key minimum ages in Rhode Island.
Online Gambling Age:
Responsible Gambling and Addiction Prevention
It can be difficult to know where to turn if you are having concerns about your gambling habits, or if you know that your betting is having a negative impact on your life. In Rhode Island, the best place to start is with the National Council on Problem Gambling, which is dedicated to helping problem gamblers.
Upcoming Regulation and Expected Changes
There aren’t actually any expected changes on the scene in Rhode Island just now. The biggest possibility is that at some point online bets could be permitted, though no bills to this effect have been put forward. Check back in the future to see what the latest news is.