The Latest: Rhode Island lawmakers OK mobile sports betting

By – Associated Press – Tuesday, March 12, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – The Latest on Rhode Island lawmakers voting on a bill to expand sports betting by allowing such gambling to move online (all times local):

5:35 p.m.

Rhode Island lawmakers have approved a bill to allow sports betting to move online, sending it to the governor’s desk.

It passed the House of Representatives Tuesday.

Rhode Island is the only New England state that allows sports betting. Currently, bets must be placed in person at the Twin River casinos.

Democratic Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, who introduced the bill, wants to expand sports betting to generate revenue and make the betting more convenient.

The House approved Ruggerio’s bill, which the Senate already passed. The House also approved its version of the same bill, which the Senate plans to pass so both versions can be sent to the governor.

House Republicans introduced an amendment to ask for a court opinion on whether lawmakers can authorize mobile gambling without asking voters first. It was defeated.

Some Democratic lawmakers said they’re concerned about problem gambling.

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12 p.m.

Rhode Island lawmakers are voting on a bill to expand sports betting by offering mobile gambling.

If it passes the state House of Representatives on Tuesday, it goes to the governor’s desk.

Rhode Island is the only New England state that allows sports betting. Bets must be placed in person at the Twin River casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton.

Democratic leaders want to expand sports betting to generate additional revenue.

The governor’s proposed budget counts on $30 million from sports betting, including $3 million from mobile gambling.

House Republicans want to ask the state Supreme Court whether lawmakers can authorize mobile gambling without asking voters first.

The Senate already passed a bill to allow online sports wagering. The House is voting on that bill and the House version of the same bill.

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