Is Rhode Island Looking to Legalize Online Casino Gambling to Fill Budget Gap

Monday, January 08, 2018

Former NJ Gov. Chris Christie and RI Gov. Gina Raimondo

Rhode Island officials may be looking at a new magic bullet to solve the ongoing budget problems. agen sbobet Taking a page out of former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s playbook, Governor Gina Raimondo may seek to shake-up Rhode Island’s gambling revenue structure by pursuing a legal online casino structure.

With revenue waning via the RI Lottery Commission, ongoing delays in the construction of Twin River’s Tiverton location, and significant competition coming online in Massachusetts, Rhode Island’s golden goose of gaming revenue in fraying.

Controversial Revenue Boost

In May, the lottery reported a significant decrease in revenue, the first clear indicator that the important segment of the Rhode Island revenue stream was weakening. agen sbobet Many of the categories of lottery saw diminishing numbers.

The news sent shock waves through the budget office as gaming is one of the state’s top five revenue sources and one that historically continued to see gains.

Presently, the question of this type of gambling expansion — to online — is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Christie v. NCAA, a de facto landmark case before the Supreme Court.

Everyone from major league sports leagues to the NCAA to Las Vegas to State Houses across the country is waiting to see if the U.S. high court rules that a Federal law, agen sbobet the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, is unconstitutional.

If the court strikes down the federal law, the next noise you may hear is the gavels of speakers and senate presidents across the country shouting “and the ayes have it.”

One Rhode Island leader intrigued by the possibilities is Speaker of the House Nick Mattiello.

Expanding gaming

“If the U.S. Supreme Court issues a favorable ruling to legalize sports betting in New Jersey as expected, I would be very interested in such legislation for Rhode Island. Many details would have to be worked out as to where the betting would take place, agen sbobet but I am certainly open to the possibilities here and would work with the Lottery Commission to make sure it is done appropriately,” Mattiello told GoLocal on Sunday.

“Depending on the timing of the Supreme Court ruling, I don’t know if this could be in place for the next fiscal year’s budget,” added Mattiello.

A Supreme Court decision could be issued in late spring on 2018.

“The Governor is open to considering legalizing internet sports betting in Rhode Island if the Supreme Court opens a path for states to take action,” said David Ortiz, Raimondo’s spokesperson on Sunday night.

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