Rhode Island Casinos, Gambling, and Law Regulations: An Overview

Rhode Island is officially the smallest state in the US, yet it has an extensive gambling offer. The state is home to one of the largest casinos in the country that, apart from table games, has more than 4,500 slot machines.

Although online casino games are not exactly legal yet, Rhode Island decided to keep up with the latest trends by legalizing sports betting.

In this text, you will find out all there is to know about dos and don’ts of gambling in Rhode Island. To make sure you are doing the right thing, familiarize yourself with gambling laws in the Ocean State by reading on.

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Gambling Laws in Rhode Island — The Law Overview

Rhode Island’s gambling story started with the lottery during the colonial era. All the profit from it was used for funding social development and infrastructure. Even though there was no law making it official at the time, playing the lottery was perceived as a civic duty.

However, in 1843, a state constitution devoted a passage to ban any form of gambling, together with the already ongoing lottery. Associated General Laws in 1896 supported this outdated view on gambling and made it official by including Section 11-19-1.

Finally, Rhode Island ended up defining gambling as: “any lottery, chance, game, or device of any nature or kind whatsoever, or by whatever name it may be called, for the purpose of exposing, setting for sale or disposing of any money, houses, lands, merchandise, or articles of value.”

That same year, Section 11-19-14 of the General Laws explicitly prohibited bookmaking and sports betting.

The good years came, though, as the state legalized horse racing, which lasted from the 1930s until the 1970s. Although it had its ups and downs, horse race betting remained legal until the present day. The lottery was introduced again and became popular as before the ban.

A new form of gambling was introduced in 1992. The racetracks that functioned pretty well got new gambling machines called video lottery terminals (VLTs). These machines were some primary versions of slot machines.

By adding these gambling options, Newport Jai Alai and Lincoln Greyhound Park racetracks had to be transformed into racinos. This was done due to the neighboring states opening proper casinos and attracting residents of Rhode Island.

The racinos were the closest you could get to commercial casinos in Rhode Island until 2012. This year was crucial for the Ocean State because two gambling establishments like Twin River Casino and Newport Grand Casino stepped into the modern way of gambling.

That year, Rhode Island said yes to table games like blackjack, baccarat, and roulette, and included them in the legal papers. Regular slot machines followed the lead of other games and filled Twin River Casino. Today, this establishment counts around 4,500 slots, thus being one of the top casinos in the country.

The latest law regarding gambling in Rhode Island allowed sports betting in 2018. The only thing missing right now is the official legislation of online casino games.

What Forms of Gambling Are Allowed in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island allows more than enough forms of gambling, from lottery and horse racing to land-based casinos.

Lottery

Like the majority of states, Rhode Island chose the lottery as a starting point for gambling. The first form of gambling legalized in the Plantation State is still available today. It includes standard lotto tickets, as well as scratch-off cards. You can take part in the biggest interstate lotteries, such as Powerball and Mega Millions. Rhode Island offers keno as well and holds both daily keno drawings every four minutes and one weekly drawing. All in all, if the lottery is your thing, Rhode Island got you covered.

Horse Race Betting

Horse racing and Rhode Island have had a love-hate relationship from the beginning. This form of gambling was popular in the state and regulated pretty early. It was legalized in 1934, but since it was not financially profitable, Rhode Island officials shut down both local racetracks. The situation remained the same for some time, but then the state finally re-introduced horse race betting. To prevent people from traveling to other states and gambling there, someone got the idea to create racinos. To make that happen, they introduced devices like today’s slot machines at the existing racetracks. One of those still operates and accepts bets on horse racing.

Casinos

An official commercial casino appeared in Rhode Island when Twin River Casino updated its gaming offer. In 2012, Twin River Casino decided to offer table games like roulette, baccarat, and blackjack. Also, the proper type of slot machines was delivered to Rhode Island’s top gambling establishment, with the number reaching 4,500 slots. Together with legal horse race betting, a gambling kingdom was created in the Plantation State.

Sports Betting

The most recent legal form of gambling in Rhode Island is sports betting. In 2018, Rhode Island became one of the first states to legally offer sports betting. Bettors can enjoy this activity from the two gambling establishments for the time being.

Is Online Gambling Allowed in Rhode Island?

Online gambling falls under the undefined category, which is characteristic of the majority of states. No written law in the state of Rhode Island explicitly mentions online gambling in conjunction with the word “forbidden.” To be precise, not even words like “electronic” or “internet” can be found on the official pages of the legal documents.

Consequently, there is no case of anyone being arrested or in any way punished for playing online casino games. This, however, does not mean that online gambling is allowed in Rhode Island.

However, if you are up to no good and want to offer online gambling based in Rhode Island, get ready to be prosecuted. The state won’t hesitate to sentence a dealer, banker, or lookout to the maximum of 2 years in jail with a $5,000 fine. There is also a punishment for promoting illegal gambling, and it can send you to jail for up to two years, followed by a fine of up to $2,000. Nevertheless, plenty of off-shore gambling operators still willingly accept players from Rhode Island.

To some other types of online betting, the state of Rhode Island gave a green light. This includes horse race off-track betting. Also, Rhode Island was the first state to start discussing the legislation of online sports betting, which is expected to be available soon.

Where to Gamble in Rhode Island?

Twin River Casino & Hotel

Twin River Casino & Hotel is one of the biggest gambling establishments in the country. You certainly won’t regret coming here, as it has everything you need. It features table games like Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, as well as many poker variations. Also, the casino owns more than 4,500 slot machines providing players with the newest game variations.

For the breaks in between the games, you can choose one of many dining options available on the spot. There is a steakhouse, pub, and many bars and grills. Once you finish with both the games and your dinner, the best thing to do is rest in one of the hotel’s 136 rooms and suites. To find this spectacular casino, type the following address in your navigation system: 100 Twin River Road Lincoln, RI 02865.

Tiverton Casino Hotel

Tiverton Casino Hotel is your second-best choice not because it’s less good but because it offers fewer slot machines. All the standard table games will be there waiting for you, together with more than 1,000 slots. Some of the most popular games include Wheel of Fortune Cash Link, Wheel of Fortune 4D, Dragon Link, Lightning Link, Fortune Gong, and more. For the horse racing fans, Tiverton has a solution as well. It will provide you with huge screens where you can watch the live stream of popular races and place your bets. The same goes if you are a sports betting lover.

If you are picky when it comes to food, Tiverton Casino Hotel has something from everyone. There is a typical American-style menu, Asian corner, and standard dishes like pizza or pasta that almost everyone can eat. The hotel offers 83 spacious rooms for you to enjoy after a busy day and night at the casino. All that can be found at 777 Tiverton Casino Blvd Tiverton, RI 02878-2497. The casino is open from 11 AM until 12 AM on working days, while for the weekend, it works from 9 AM until midnight.

FAQ

What forms of gambling are legal in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, legal gambling options include lottery, horse race betting, and casinos.

Is online gambling legal in Rhode Island?

Online gambling is omitted from the legal documents in Rhode Island. Therefore, it is not officially considered illegal to play games at online casinos that fall under some other jurisdiction.

What is the legal gambling age for players in Rhode Island?

To be able to gamble in Rhode Island, you need to be 18 or above.

Is sports betting legal in Rhode Island?

Yes, sports betting is officially legal in Rhode Island and can be done from official gambling establishments.

Who regulates gambling in Rhode Island?

Gambling activities in the Plantation State are regulated by the Rhode Island Lottery and Division of Gaming & Athletics.