Lawmakers are considering a Rhode Island sportsbook amendment that would scrap the in-person registration requirement for online betting. Representatives Marvin Abney and Nicholas Mattiello introduced amendment H 8097 that would allow players to sign up for an account online.
At present, residents of Rhode Island need to register in-person at any licensed sports betting facility. Players can choose between Tiverton or Twin River Lincoln casino. Also, the amendment would change the language regarding geolocation.
The law states that geolocation is needed when the player logs into the system. The lawmakers want to change it so that it is only required when a player is betting. At present, the bill is at the House Finance Committee. It will be effective immediately as soon as lawmakers pass it into law.
Rhode Island Sportsbook Amendment
In May, Rhode Island saw a 71.6 percent drop in sports betting revenue. It is due to the coronavirus pandemic that’s still wreaking havoc in the state and across the nation. Revenue for sports wagering in May was only $163,472, compared to $574,703 in May 2019.
Sports betting handle dropped by 89.7 percent from $14.6 million to $1.5 million, according to the best sportsbook pay per head. Despite the lower numbers, it was a significant increase compared to the figures from April. Month-on-month statistics showed that mobile sports betting revenue increased 475 percent from $28,202 to $162,000 in May.
Based on sportsbook pay per head service reports, removing the in-person requirement during the registration process will increase the number of players in the state. Thus, the state will benefit from higher sports betting revenue.
A political news source said that the state gets 51 percent of the revenue from sports betting in the state. Thirty-two percent goes to the IGT, and 17 percent goes to the casino. The House Committee would tackle the amendment next week.