Online Sports Betting Operators in Rhode Island
Currently, the only sports betting operator in Rhode Island is Sportsbook Rhode Island, which is run by the state lottery.
The operator offers a reduced range of sports compared to many others, although unlike some legal states, it features college sports betting in Rhode Island.
The sports you can wager on online here include:
- Football (college and NFL)
- Soccer (MLS and global)
- NHL Hockey
Sportsbook Rhode Island offers a great desktop site and mobile apps for both Android and iOS devices.
The website and app are run by William Hill, a 100-year-old veteran British bookmaker that is now breaking into the legal US markets.
You can use your bank card or a bank transfer to deposit up to $1000 a day for sports bets.
Sportsbook RI lets you place standard wagers on match winners, plus all kinds of special bets, including:
- Futures bets, such as a wager on who will win the Superbowl made at the beginning of the season.
- Parlays, where you bet on multiple matches at once and enjoy increased odds if all of them are correct.
- Prop (or proposition) bets, such as who will score the most field goals or the best batting average.
Potential Future of Online Sports Betting in Rhode Island
It’s unlikely that Rhode Island will see more sports betting operators enter the market soon. Rhode Island lawmakers and residents have not been keen on gambling, barring 2018’s legalization.
Twin River Casino may apply to run online sports betting within the next few years, but there’s no guarantee they’ll obtain a license.
In other legal states, sportsbooks are required to partner with a local casino operator. Because there’s only one in Rhode Island now, this means one of three things:
- Only one sportsbook, as there is now.
- New legislation in Rhode Island allowing online sportsbook operators to open up independently of local land-based venues.
- More land-based venues for more online partnerships.
Given the current economic climate and national opinion on gambling, it is doubtful that legislators will approve of new tax money leaving the state. A free-for-all system is also unlikely.
Then there are the high tax rates the state imposes on Sportsbook RI and Twin River – up to 51% of all sports betting income. This could discourage new companies from opening up here.
As for scenario number three – Rhode Island has never been a big fan of opening new casinos. Despite many applications over the years, only one (Twin River’s latest property in Tiverton) has been approved since the 1970s.
That leaves us with the most probable outcome of just one online sportsbook in Rhode Island, at least for the next few years.
What Sports Can You Bet on in Rhode Island?
Below are some of the most popular sports to bet on nationally and in Rhode Island. There aren’t many strong professional sports teams in the state, mostly due to its small size.
NFL and College Football
Rhode Island doesn’t house an NFL team. The most successful team in the region is Boston’s New England Patriots.
Rhode Island is also home to two high-profile college teams – including the Brown Bears of Brown University in Providence.
One local bet you can place through Sportsbook RI is a futures bet (at the beginning of the season) on the Governor’s Trophy. This is the rivalry contested by Brown and the University of Rhode Island.
Historically, Brown has been far more likely to win, though matches have been a lot closer in recent years.
Again, Rhode Island doesn’t feature a professional basketball team.
However, the Rams of the University of Rhode Island are a decent team. They made the NCAA Tournament for the first time in over 15 years in 2017, then again in 2018.
Aside from the Rams, Rhode Island bettors can use Sportsbook RI to wager on any NBA game or player during the season.
There’s no MLS soccer team in Rhode Island, although you’re free to wager on any MLS team or competition through Sportsbook RI. There are also soccer matches from around the world, including the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Mexican Football League.
The Rhode Island Rams college soccer team hasn’t set the world on fire in recent years. Its biggest success in the last decade was United States National Team central defender Geoff Cameron, who went on to play in the EPL and was in the 2009 MLS Best XI.
Rhode Island Sportsbook lets you bet on MLB, minor league, and international baseball, like the Japanese and Korean leagues.
There’s no wagering on college baseball, though, so you can’t bet on the Rhode Island Rams.
Legal Matters: Taxes and What You Aren’t Allowed to Wager On in Rhode Island
Unlike in many legal states, no sports are illegal to wager on in RI.
However, you are limited by what Sportsbook RI chooses to offer.
You may be able to visit either of the Twin River Casino locations where there’s a larger pool of sports to bet on, but this might require a long trip.
According to US federal law, you must pay income taxes on any cumulative gambling winnings over $600 in one year.
This means you must keep track of your wagers if you’re a high-rolling sports bettor. Luckily, Sportsbook RI does most of this for you.
However, you are responsible for declaring your winnings.
Before March 2020 and the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, online sports bettors in Rhode Island were required to confirm their account registration in person at one of Twin River Casino’s two land-based venues.
This rule has now been rescinded, although it may return after the pandemic is over.
Rhode Island Sports Betting Bonuses
Currently, Sportsbook Rhode Island doesn’t provide any welcome offers, bonuses, or promotions to RI bettors.
This may change if more online sportsbooks in Rhode Island open up in the future, as Sportsbook RI will have competition for customers.
In other legal states with more than one legal online sportsbooks, you might see such bonuses as:
- Free bets.
- Deposit matches.
- Special odds on big events, like the Soccer World Cup, the Super Bowl, or the MLB World Series.
- Cashback on any losses you suffer during a specified period.
Rhode Island has had legal sports betting in some form since 1934 when betting was legalized at the two horse racing tracks in the state.
From 1974 to 1980, the Rhode Island State Lottery rolled out its phone betting services.
In 1992, both racetracks were allowed to accept off-course phone bets. This was the year that sports betting was banned across all the states, although many horse racing operators (including those in Rhode Island) were exempt.
In 2007, Lincoln Park racetrack took advantage of loopholes in the law to offer slots-style gaming through its partnership with the state lottery.
In 2012, Twin River applied for a full casino license, which was granted by referendum. It became the first-ever full legal casino in the state.
In 2018, The Supreme Court case of Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association resulted in a 6-3 victory for New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, who wanted to legalize sports betting in his state.
This changed the game for many states, including Rhode Island.
In June 2018, Rhode Island jumped into action and legalized sports betting across the state.
By March 2019, online sports betting was added to the new law. That same year in November, the Rhode Island State Lottery launched Sportsbook RI.
The legal sports betting landscape hasn’t changed much going into 2021, with online sports betting open for licensing applications but only Sportsbook RI operating.
Rhode Island Online Betting FAQ
No. You can check your account using a mobile device when outside of state lines, but you can’t place bets or make transactions.
Desktop computers or laptops won’t let you sign in unless you have geolocation software installed. You can find the instructions on Sportsbook RI’s website.
Eighteen. This is younger than the minimum age of 21 in many legal gambling states.
Sadly, none of them. Rhode Island doesn’t house a professional team in any major sports, and none of its college teams are hugely successful on a national level.
Not yet. Sportsbook RI doesn’t offer PayPal as a deposit method.
However, it recently signed a deal with William Hill to revamp its online operation, so the popular e-wallet PayPal may arrive soon.