Mobile sports betting launches in Rhode Island
PROVIDENCE, RI (WLNE) - James Belcher signed up for mobile sports betting as soon as it launched Wednesday.
"I got the alert right off my phone," said Belcher, of Providence. "They did talk about it for a while, and now that they've got it, it's more convenient."
Sports gamblers like Belcher sign up through the website or mobile application, then come to Twin River Casino in Lincoln to once for identity verification and account activation.
From then on, they’re free to place sports wagers from anywhere in the state.
But they don't have to be a Rhode Island resident to sign up for the program.
"We expect people from Massachusetts and Connecticut and even farther afield will come up and set up an account, and take advantage of it on vacation, or before or after work," said Paul Grimaldi of the Rhode Island Department of Revenue.
The department expects sports betting to bring in $22.7 million this fiscal year, with $17 million of that coming from mobile.
But is Twin River concerned it will lose foot traffic when people can bet anywhere else in the state?
"I think we'll still have people come in on a daily basis," said Joe Franklin of Twin River. "They like to experience the facility here with the bar we have, the food, and the TVs."
And some Twin River customers seem to agree.
"I like sports betting here, because I go to a window, I get a ticket, there's people," said Henry Sablone of Millis, Massachusetts.
"Coming out here you can meet people, stuff like that," said Scott Knott of Providence. "You come out here and have a good time."
Mobile betting is available for a variety of sports matches -- but not for college games in the state of Rhode Island.
Still pending is a lawsuit saying voters needed to approve mobile sports betting.
For more information on how to set up your account, visit: http://www.sportsbetri.com.
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