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RI amendment seeks to scrap in-person sports betting registration


Lawmakers in Rhode Island are to consider an amendment that would remove the requirement for consumers to register in-person in order to access online sports betting in the state.

Introduced this week by Representatives Nicholas Mattiello and Marvin Abney, amendment H 8097 would permit players to register for an account online or via their mobile device.

Consumers in Rhode Island are currently to required to register in-person at the premises of a licensed sports betting operator, which in the state is at the Twin River Lincoln or Tiverton casino.

The amendment would also alter existing legal language related to geolocation, so that this will only be necessary “at the time when the player is wagering”, instead of “when the player logs into the system”.

The bill, which is currently with the state’s House Finance Committee, would come into immediate effect if it were to pass into law.

In May, Rhode Island suffered a 71.6% year-on-year drop in sports wagering revenue as the state continued to feel the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

Revenue for the full month amounted to $163,472 compared to $574,703 in the same month last year, while the state’s handle also fell 89.7% from $14.6m to $1.5m.

However, this was a significant improvement on April’s figures, as on a month-on-month basis, revenue from mobile sports wagering rocketed 475.8% from $28,202 in April to $162,408.