- We use trusted sources such as: The Providence Journal and The Valley Breeze to stay on top of all industry related news and developments.
- We aren’t just experts in sports betting, we have dedicated teams across the gambling industry including for casino games such as video poker and have even created an online roulette guide.
- We keep on top of any changes to the law by closely following the movements of the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation and the Attorney General’s Office in Rhode Island.
- The Providence Journal
- The Valley Breeze
- the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation
- RI Attorney General’s office
Online Daily Fantasy Sports in Rhode Island – Overview
Prior to 2016, lawmakers in Rhode Island were seeking clarity on whether or not daily fantasy sports were legal according to the state constitution. While there was clearly an element of skill to drafting fantasy teams, some stakeholders believed that the betting element involved rendered the activities illegal under current gaming legislation.
This prompted the Attorney General’s Office to conduct a predominant purpose test on DFS, a test that is used to determine how much success from the activity is based on skill and how much is based on luck. It found that DFS was a 50/50 mixture of the two, and therefore was legal. At the time, the Attorney General recommended that legislation be introduced to properly regulate DFS activities for the purpose of consumer and citizen protection. There has still yet to be a bill passed through the State committee that aims to do this.
For now, Rhode Island residents are free to enjoy DFS without regulations. Below, we have listed the top sports leagues in Rhode Island and how they can be played in DFS.
Online Daily Fantasy NBA – Small State, Big Stars
While Rhode Island doesn’t host any professional National Basketball Association teams in-state, it has still been the training ground for some of the NBA’s most famous stars, including Lamar Odom. In NBA Fantasy, contestants are to draft a lineup of 8 players that must be competing in at least two different NBA games that week – all within a salary cap of $50,000. Contests are won by having the highest total points scored by individual players, e.g. 2 points for a steal, 1 point for a point.
Online Daily Fantasy MLB – The Red Sox Affiliates
Baseball is perhaps the most popular sport in Rhode Island, with their minor league Pawtucket Red Sox being a Triple-A affiliate to the Boston Red Sox. Although they may be moving to Massachusetts, there’s no denying that locals will continue supporting their Red Sox, in real-life and in their fantasy lineups. In MLB Fantasy, contestants must draft a team of 10 players who are competing over that week’s schedule. Scoring is varied, including 10 points for a home run, 5 points for a double, etc.
Online Daily Fantasy NHL – You Can Bet On The Bruins
There may be no major league hockey teams in Rhode Island, but as the primary development team for the Boston Bruins, the local Providence Bruins have inspired the admiration of their state for good reason. This means that you can choose past Providence Bruins players in your NHL fantasy lineup, which needs to include 9 players from at least 3 different teams. Points are awarded to players for goals, assists, blocked shots, etc.
Online Daily Fantasy MLS – Shoot For The Stars
In the Major League Soccer Fantasy League, contestants must draft a lineup of 8 players from at least two different games. Similarly to other DFS leagues, contestants score based on the real-life performances of their chosen talent, with goals earning 10 points and red cards earning -3. The value of players is based on their overall statistics, so the trick to good drafting is to choose a well-rounded team without breaking the budget on single players.
College Fantasy Sport – Play Sooner Rather Than Later
The Ivy League Brown University in Rhode Island isn’t just known for its fantastic academic program, but it has historically nurtured decades worth of premium sporting talent through its collegiate athletic program. It’s most well known is undoubtedly the Brown Bears football team, who have been doing the college proud since 1878. While their last two seasons haven’t been as successful as spectators would hope, a new change in management could see the Browns return to a highpoint.
A number of NFL stars past and present are alumni of the Brown Bears program, with current New York Giants long snapper Zak DeOssie formerly playing in front of the 20,000 capacity Brown Stadium audience. With college football fantasy leagues open to Rhode Island’s players, we hope that locals take time to consider the best of their local college football talent.
Timeline of Daily Fantasy Sports Legislation
There was a time when Rhode Island employed a near-total gambling ban – an effort that was driven by a belief that gambling would lead to the destruction of its constituent’s morals. As time has passed and proven this to be false, Rhode Island has since become one of the more progressive states when it comes to considering modern forms of gambling – including sports betting. Below, we have created a timeline of important years in Rhode Island’s gambling history. For more information on gambling in the state, visit our dedicated Rhode Island gambling page.
|1896||Rhode Island makes all forms of gambling that can be defined by being a game of skill that requires a wager of a player’s money, property and other items of value.|
|1934||Gambling laws are changed to allow pari-mutuel betting on horse and greyhound racing.|
|1973||A state lottery is legalized. In 1988, it welcomes inter-state lotteries like the Mega Millions.|
|1992||Video gaming terminals are approved.|
|2012||A voter-supported effort is passed to transform the Twin River racing track into a state-operated casino.|
|2016||Daily Fantasy Sports are ruled legal by the state Attorney General.|
|2018||Sports betting is legalized in Rhode Island. In 2019, the state announces plans to allow fully mobile sports betting in the state.|
Legal Daily Fantasy Betting Age in Rhode Island
Rhode Island laws are very strict when it comes to underage gambling. It is punished by a fee that can go up to $1,000 or even imprisonment for one year. To legally participate in whatever gambling or betting activity, you must be at least 18 years of age. This includes casinos, racetracks, lottery, sports betting, bingo and, of course, daily fantasy sports.
DFS Betting Age
Is Daily Fantasy Betting Legal Outside of the State?
Thankfully, Rhode Island isn’t the only state in the nation to be so progressive about DFS legalization. DFS betting is currently legal in most states, with only nine states that have specific laws and regulations prohibiting DFS. These states include Idaho, Hawaii and Arizona. As well as these states, there are a number of states that have yet to specifically comment on the legality of DFS, meaning that there is a lack of clarity regarding whether or not contestants are breaking the law by participating. For the most part, states seem to recognize that DFS is a game of skill as opposed to a game of luck and have legalized it accordingly.
The Best Fantasy Sports App in Rhode Island
To ensure that your DFS betting experience can be as convenient as possible, most major operators have created dedicated DFS apps so that you can bet anywhere, anytime. In the case your favorite DFS sites are yet to create a website, chances are that they have developed mobile optimised websites. Based on our experience, we recommend the DraftKings app the most for DFS betting.
Taxes on Daily Fantasy Winnings: Legal Overview
Winnings that come from gambling are taxed according to the federal taxes laws, which means that the rate is 25%. Furthermore, state level wins are classed as regular income and undergo the taxations law of Texas. In case you want more details and information, you can refer to the website of the Rhode Island Division of Taxation.
Upcoming Regulation Changes to Be Aware Of
As of 2019, there has been very little mention in Rhode Island’s Government of bringing in legislation to officially regulate DFS. There are both negatives and positives to this inaction for all stakeholders involved. Firstly, contestants enjoying the freedom to play any particular league without restriction may prefer that the government has not involved itself in regulating what players can bet on and how they bet. However, regulation can ensure that certain safeguards are in place to prevent issues like problem gambling.
Additionally, while major DFS operators will benefit from not having to pay any licensing fees or additional taxes to the state (which legislation tends to address), the state may in some way suffer from the potential lost revenue.
For now, the main gambling-related focus in the state seems to be on the recent legalization of sports betting and its expansion online, as well as the proposal to allow for wider online gambling activities including poker and slots. These changes could mean exciting opportunities for the state’s gambling fans, and we are likewise excited to see what the future holds in store for Rhode Island.