Legal Rhode Island Online Gambling, Poker & Casinos
Rhode Island has a string of complex legislation regarding the US gambling industry. It's taken some time but traditional casino table games were recently legalized, along with poker rooms and horse racing betting.
Dog racing betting has been outlawed for some time. Daily fantasy sports is set to be legalized after the Attorney General intimated it is not a game of luck or chance. Social gambling could also soon be permitted under the 2016 bill that's still under consideration.
Rhode Island Gambling Laws - Summary and Look to the Future
At the time of writing, no specific legislation addresses the issue of the burgeoning online gambling industry.
Access to many of the world's leading iGaming brands is somewhat restricted to Rhode Island residents based on the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). However, many players use unregulated offshore sites without fear of prosecution.
Rhode Island Gambling Laws - A Brief History
- 1744-1843 - Unofficial lotteries rife throughout Rhode Island, helping to finance municipal growth.
- 1843 - State passes legislature to prohibit informal lotteries.
- 1896 - Sports betting and bookmaking outlawed.
- 1934 - Rhode Island approves proposals to legalize pari-mutuel horse and dog betting.
- 1973 - Rhode Island approves state-operated lottery.
- 1974 - 'The Lott' - Rhode Island's inaugural state-operated lottery starts selling tickets.
- 1987 - State votes to permit bingo gaming for maximum prizes of $400.
- 1988 - Rhode Island Lottery joins forces with the Multi-State Lottery Association to allow residents to take part in multi-state lotteries.
- 1990 - Off-track betting proposals thrown out by state.
- 1991 - Two race tracks allowed to have off-track betting.
- 1992 - Video lottery terminals permitted at state's pari-mutuel betting locations.
- 1994 - Full-scale casino table gaming denied after vote.
- 1998 - Tribal casinos prohibited from offering casino games.
- 2010 - Greyhound racing officially outlawed.
- 2012 - State-operated casino gaming allowed at Twin River and Newport Grand casinos.
- 2015 - Inuaugal poker room opened at Twin River.
- 2016 - Daily fantasy sports deemed legal.
- 2016 - New commercial casino permitted in Tiverton.
What Types of Gambling are Legal in Rhode Island?
- Casino Gambling – Rhode Island has two casinos operating out of their racetracks. One of the Rhode Island casinos offers video poker, slots, and electronic table games while the other has the full complement of casino games and slot machines.
- Sports Betting – Sports betting is legal in the form of simulcast and off track betting at the two Rhode Island racetracks. Rhode Island has passed a sports betting bill and you can follow all of the latest Rhode Island sports betting news here.
- Online Betting – Most of the horse racing betting sites accept players from Rhode Island and with sports betting on the way in the state online sports betting may not be far behind. We will be following all online gambling news in Rhode Island here.
- Daily Fantasy – Daily Fantasy Sites (DFS) is legal in Rhode Island so all of the DFS sites like Fanduel and Draft Kings accept players from the state.
- Poker – Poker is legal in Rhode Island but there is currently just one poker room.
- Bingo – Bingo in Rhode Island is legal for charities and permits are issued by the state police. Limits for Bingo prize pools in Rhode Island are generally low, in the $300 range.
- Lottery – There is a state lottery in Rhode Island as well as sales of scratch off tickets and instant lotteries. There are Keno drawings in Rhode Island every 4 minutes.