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Rhode Island Online Casino Launch Set for March 1, 2024

"Discover the imminent launch of online casinos in Rhode Island on March 1, 2024, as the state embraces legal real-money gaming. Bally's Corporation monopolizes the online domain, offering a unique landscape in the seventh U.S. state to legalize online casinos. Explore the details of the upcoming legislative committee meeting and the anticipated introduction of live dealer games in April, marking a significant evolution in Rhode Island's gambling landscape."
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Branimir Ivanov | Senior News Contributor

Updated: Feb 1, 2024

Rhode Island Online Casino Launch Set for March 1, 2024

Rhode Island is gearing up for a significant transformation in its gambling landscape as it prepares to introduce online casino gaming on March 1, 2024. State officials have confirmed this anticipated launch date, marking the Ocean State's entry into the realm of legal real-money online casinos. Overseeing the regulation of this digital shift is the Rhode Island Division of Lottery, which currently supervises the operations of Bally's two physical casinos in the state, namely Twin River Lincoln and Tiverton.

The spokesperson for the Rhode Island Department of Revenue (RIDOR), Paul Grimaldi, recently confirmed the scheduled launch date, providing limited insights into the specifics. The online casino platform is set to go live on March 1, offering some form of gameplay and featuring live dealers. Additional details about this much-anticipated launch are expected to be discussed during the legislative lottery committee meeting on February 19, unless there are any delays due to holidays.

 

Key Points:

  • Rhode Island's Online Casino Launch: Scheduled for March 1, 2024, Rhode Island is set to become the seventh U.S. state to legalize real-money online casinos, with the Rhode Island Division of Lottery overseeing the regulatory framework.
  • Bally's Monopoly in the Online Domain: With only two gaming entities in the state, Bally's Corporation, owner of Twin River Lincoln and Tiverton casinos, secures a monopoly in Rhode Island's online casino market, raising questions about market dynamics.
  • Live Dealer Games on the Horizon: While the launch on March 1 will feature some form of gameplay, live dealer games, a result of Bally's partnership with Stakeologic, are expected to be introduced on April 1, adding an extra layer of excitement to the online gaming experience.

 

Rhode Island Joins the Ranks

Come March 1, Rhode Island will become the seventh U.S. state to legalize real-money online casinos, joining the ranks of Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Despite its relatively small population of just over 1 million, the state's entry into the online gambling arena is a noteworthy development that reflects the broader trend of states adapting to the digital age of gaming.

In Rhode Island, where only two gaming entities – Bally's and IGT – operate, there will not be multiple licensees. This grants Bally's Corporation, the owner of the state's only two brick-and-mortar casinos, a monopoly in the online domain. The implications of this monopoly raise questions about market dynamics, competition, and the potential impact on consumer choice in the online casino landscape.

Anticipation is building as the legislative lottery committee meeting on February 19 approaches. This session is expected to delve into the finer details of the online casino initiative, with the lottery director providing crucial insights. The outcome of this meeting could provide a clearer understanding of the regulatory framework, responsible gaming measures, and potential future developments in Rhode Island's online gambling sector.

 

Live Dealer Games to Follow

Bally's strategic preparation for the launch includes a partnership with live casino supplier Stakeologic, forged in September. The significance of this collaboration became apparent when Governor Daniel McKee signed Senate Bill 948 into law, mandating live dealers for all online table games. However, Rhode Island residents and enthusiasts will need to exercise patience, as live dealer games are anticipated to be available only from April 1, with online poker games possibly facing further delays.

As the countdown to the March 1 launch of online casinos in Rhode Island continues, the state is poised to undergo a substantial evolution in its gambling landscape. Bally's Corporation's monopoly in the online domain, coupled with the introduction of live dealer games in April, adds layers of complexity and excitement to the state's gambling industry. Observers and industry stakeholders alike are eagerly awaiting the unfolding narrative of Rhode Island's foray into online casino gaming in the coming months.

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