Rhode Island officially became the eighth state to offer sports betting

Shortly after making three ceremonial first bets in the newly opened sportsbook at Twin River Casino, President Dominic Ruggerio of the Road Island Senate was asked if a $20 Houston Texans game ticket, minus Tennessee, was a good bet for tonight’s Monday night football game.

“I don’t know,” he said, smiling and shrugging his shoulders. “I’ll let you know if you call me at midnight.” One thing is certain: even if the Texans don’t come close to four points, Lou Gehrigo will think of Monday as a day of victory.

The 69-year-old has been involved in Rhode Island politics for more than three decades and has been a huge supporter of introducing legalized sports betting into the state of Ocean. Monday was a day when he could rejoice, regardless of whether he cashed in his winning ticket or not.

“I’ve been waiting 40 years for this day,” he said shortly before placing a bet with House Speaker Nicholas Matiello and Twin River Worldwide Holdings Chairman John Taylor Jr., who bet on two more points against the Boston Celtics and New Orleans in tonight’s game. “I’m very confident that sports betting will provide a lasting new revenue stream for the state and help some of the initiatives we’re looking forward to achieving next year.”

With those three gambles, Rhode Island became the first New England state to offer sports gambling. Nearly 100 excited sports gamblers followed the three legislators to the window. Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and now Rhode Island have joined the state of Nevada to offer legalized sports gambling after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a federal ban on sports was unconstitutional and abolished the Pro and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May.

“I’m very excited to live with sports betting in the state of New England, and I hope to stay at that pole position for as long as possible,” Taylor said. “And we’re excited to provide another product for our players to come and enjoy.” 온라인카지노

IGT and Scientific Games are the state’s official sports betting partners, and the lottery in Rhode Island oversees its operations. The state receives 51 percent of its sports betting revenue, with sellers receiving 32 percent and casinos receiving 17 percent.

Monday was the first step in accepting single-shot bets, with a small counter and three ticket windows on the third floor of the casino near the simultaneous racing broadcast area. In the coming days, the sports betting menu is expected to expand with the addition of football, basketball and hockey, as well as future bets and other sports.

Phase II is under construction on the second floor, down from a popular poker room in an area that served as the grandstand for former Lincoln Downs racetrack in the 1940s. When completed in mid-December, the 3,600-square-foot space will have dedicated sports betting counters, food and beverage services, a trundle board, and more than 100 televisions of various sizes.

“This will take the social aspect of the sports betting experience for everyone from the most casual sports betting to the most serious,” said Craig Skullos, vice president and general manager of Twin Rivers, adding that once the second phase is completed, the counters that are open upstairs will continue to open today. “It’s designed to be a tailgate party without having to go outside for the tailgate.”

“Stage two is where the market is headed,” Taylor added. “It will be a comfortable place for customers to come in, make a bet, sit on the couch, have a beer and have fun.”

Jack Nattola, who lives in Watertown, Massachusetts, about 50 miles north of Lincoln, is one of his clients who expect to become a regular on the Twin Rivers now that sports betting is booming. The 30-year-old real estate agent lined up first Monday and said he frequently traveled to Las Vegas sports books. He is excited to now have sports books near his home.

“I always thought it was weird that only one state could offer sports betting,” said Natola, who also planned to give Houston points on Monday Night Football. “You can see me coming here about once a week and betting a few hundred dollars. I see it as entertainment. Some people like to go shopping or going to the movies. I love betting on sports.”

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