Rhode Island Launches iGaming, Seventh State to Regulate Online Casinos

Posted on: March 5, 2024, 08:38h. 

Last updated on: March 5, 2024, 12:11h.

Rhode Island on Tuesday became the seventh state to offer people inside its borders legal, regulated online casino games inclusive of interactive slot machines and live dealer table games.

Rhode Island iGaming Bally's
The Bally’s Casino website and iGaming app launched Tuesday in Rhode Island. The state becomes the seventh to allow people aged 21 and older physically located inside its borders to gamble legally online. (Image: Casino.org)

Bally’s, which holds a monopoly on casino gambling in the state, debuts its iGaming platform today at noon EST. The internet Bally’s Casino is initially offering 170 slot titles, and live dealer blackjack and roulette. Remote players can interact with the dealers via a chat tool.

The state will be a major benefactor of the expanded gaming, as gross gaming revenue stemming from online slots will be subject to a 62% state tax. Table win is taxed at 15%.

Players must be at least 21 years old and physically located within Rhode Island’s borders to legally access the online casino. The Bally’s Casino online launch comes after the app and desktop operation underwent a four-day technical test trial with guests last week.

Bally’s operates Rhode Island’s two brick-and-mortar casinos, Bally’s Twin River Lincoln and Bally’s Tiverton.

Public-Private Partnership

Rhode Island lawmakers who championed the iGaming expansion celebrated the online gambling debut as a win for both the state and its gaming partner.

This is a wonderful example of how the legislature and the private sector can work together to develop initiatives that enhance state revenues, which in turn, benefit our taxpayers,” said Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Warwick). “I congratulate Bally’s and its Rhode Island leadership team on its successful launch of this online gaming program as well as on their efforts to continuously seek ways to keep Rhode Island at the forefront in this competitive New England gaming market.”

State fiscal projections expect Rhode Island to receive $24 million in new tax revenue during iGaming’s first full year of operation. That number is forecast to grow to almost $40 million by the fifth full year.

Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, who declared in December that iGaming will give casino smoking opponents an option to gamble in a clean-air environment at home, said online casinos will “ensure that Rhode Island remains at the forefront of the competitive gaming industry” and reinforces a critical revenue stream for the state. The Senate leader added that online gambling provides “an alternative form of entertainment.”

iGaming isn’t only about money, but also jobs.

In exchange for the added gaming, Bally’s committed to building a 4,000-square-foot live dealer table game studio in Lincoln, where it has employed about 75 full- and part-time positions. Bally’s partnered with Stakelogic, a leading iGaming business-to-business provider, on its online casino development.

iGaming Market Remains Small

With Rhode Island’s introduction, iGaming remains limited to only seven states. The Ocean State joins Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Unlike sports betting, which has been legalized in almost 40 states, iGaming is a big margin business.

In New Jersey, one such state with legal iGaming and online sports betting, oddsmakers generated revenue of $1 billion from their retail and online sportsbooks in 2023. The state’s iGaming platforms won more than $1.9 billion.

New Jersey taxes iGaming at 15% and sports betting at 8.5% in-person, and 13% online. The state’s share from online casinos was $288.5 million and $128.9 million from sports.