Ruggiero plans to legalize betting on state college teams in 2023

PROVIDENCE, R.I.(WLNE) — Rhode Island law current says residents cannot bet on their own state’s collegiate teams.

Senate President Dominick Ruggiero is proposing legislation that would allow state residents to bet on college athletics in Rhode Island in tournaments involving four or more teams.

Examples would include pre-season invitationals, conference tournaments and NCAA tournaments such as March Madness.

“I think everyone wants to bet on Providence College. I think a lot of people would love to bet on URI. I just think it would increase the revenue we get from sports betting substantially,” Ruggiero said.

Those against the legislation argue that fans having closer access to athletes could to players throwing games. However, with athletes now able to profit off their own name, image and likeness, Ruggiero said he isn’t concerned.

“There’s a different sentiment out there now that the players have the ability to make money now on their names. So, I don’t see it as big of an issue as it was at one time,” Ruggiero said.

He said a hearing will be held for the bill in the next two to three weeks.

Categories: News, Politics, Rhode Island