STATE HOUSE – The Senate has approved legislation from President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) that would enable sports wagering on in-state collegiate teams when they are participating in tournaments that consist of four or more teams.
“In recent years, successful seasons for local college sports teams have generated a great deal of excitement across our state. Sports betting, too, has been extremely popular since it became law, providing entertainment for fans and generating critical revenue for our state,” said President Ruggerio, who sponsored previous legislation that legalized sports betting and mobile sports wagering in Rhode Island.
“This legislation will enable Rhode Islanders to wager on their favorite college teams when they are participating in highly anticipated events like March Madness. It makes a very small change that brings Rhode Island in line with neighboring states – including Massachusetts, which took this approach when it legalized sports betting,” President Ruggerio added. “Ultimately, when residents of our state seek to place wagers during college tournaments, we shouldn’t be forcing them to go to Massachusetts or Connecticut. We want to keep those fans, and those dollars, here at home.”
The legislation (2023-S 0003) amends the portion of state law regarding video lottery games, table games, and sports wagering. It would allow wagers on collegiate tournaments that take place in Rhode Island or which involve Rhode Island collegiate teams, regardless of where they occur. Wagers on individual performance statistics of collegiate athletes remain prohibited under the proposal.
The legislation now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.