Could In-Person Signups Be on the Way Out in Rhode Island?

What was initially viewed as a controversial inconvenience, in-person signups for sports betting in Rhode Island might finally be eradicated if certain lawmakers get their way.

A new bill is being pushed forward to eliminate in-person signups, which has been in place since the state first legalized sports betting. Many sports bettors and operators are getting behind this movement for several reasons and it appears that many state lawmakers are as well.

House Speaker Introduces Bill to Move the Motion Forward

The notion of being able to place a sports bet on mobile phones without having to visit the casino is something that House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is pushing in a bill that he’s introduced. The idea is that people would be able to skip the in-person registration that has been in law since last year.

At the same time, legislation is expected to be introduced by Senate President Dominick Ruggerio who echoes the exact same messaging as Mattiello. The two lawmakers released a joint statement highlighting the following sentiments:

“Especially during these times of social distancing, enabling people to register online for sports gaming provides an added convenience that will also enhance revenue for the people of our state. With many team sports ready to resume play shortly, this will provide a safe entertainment option for Rhode Islanders to participate in sports [gambling] from their homes.”

Social distancing is a high priority for all states right now. Eliminating in-person signups is a good way to continue this strategy. However, it’s not the only reason why Rhode Island lawmakers are pushing for this bill.

Why the Move to Get Rid of In-Person Registration

Mobile sports betting companies have been very clear in their messaging to state leaders that they are actually losing money because gamblers are forced to go to the casino in person to register.

These mobile sports betting companies are in fact the ones urging lawmakers to take action and introduce a bill that will provide gamblers with more conveniences and tools at their fingertips.

The way things stand right now, those wishing to place a bet on their mobile device first need to visit the Casino in Tiverton or Lincoln where they can activate a mobile account. This could be a big reason that the state actually reported a decline in sports betting profits in the months of January to April this year.

As professional sports are either in training or gearing up to complete their seasons, the pressure is on the lawmakers to get this bill moved through as fast as possible. The goal of course is to capitalize on the interest in sports after so many months of going without live action.

With so much money being directed toward other efforts in the state right now, coming up with extra tax revenue would be greatly appreciated during these challenging times.

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Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site.

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