The gambling outlook in Rhode Island

If you’re not living in a cave or under a rock, then you might have heard the breaking news, the most exciting news thus far this year: Rhode Island is the latest state to legalize online casino gaming, otherwise referred to as iGaming, and we couldn't be more thrilled!

Here’s a little background for you: in the world of gambling, Rhode Island, the smallest state in the union, is punching above its weight. It's 2024 and Little Rhody is making big waves. Once a quiet corner of the gambling world, it's now a hotbed of action, a veritable Vegas on the Atlantic (next to New Jersey, that is). So what’s happening in tiny RI? Well, the Ocean State's gambling scene has been on a roll, expanding faster than a high roller on a hot streak. From the clatter of slot machines to the hushed intensity of the poker table, Rhode Island's casinos are buzzing.

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📖 Published on: June 15th, 2023

✍️ Updated: 5 days ago

⏳ 29 mins read

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Gambling in Rhode Island image
Rhode Island coat of arms image

And it's not just the land-based joints that are thriving. As we said, online poker, once a pipe dream, is now a reality, with Rhode Islanders going all-in from the comfort of their own homes. But it's not all sunshine and royal flushes. The state's gambling laws are as tricky as a bluffing poker pro, and navigating them can feel like playing a high-stakes game of chance. But as any seasoned gambler knows, you've got to roll with the punches.

So, as we place our bets on what the future holds, one thing's for sure: in the high-stakes game of gambling, Rhode Island is holding a full house. It's a small state with a big appetite for action, and in 2024, the action is just getting started.

Rhode Island gambling laws and regulations

Rhode Island, affectionately known as the Ocean State, has a complex and intricate set of gambling laws and regulations. It's akin to playing a high-stakes poker game where the rules are constantly evolving - keeping you on your toes.

The legal landscape here is as diverse as a Vegas casino floor, encompassing a wide array of gambling activities. From pool-selling and bookmaking to the whirl of slot machines and the spin of roulette wheels, not to mention lotteries and numbers games, it's a comprehensive menu of betting endeavors, each with its unique legal stipulations.

As you may know by now, it’s not all a gambler's paradise. The state has a stern face when it comes to illegal gambling, and if you're found orchestrating an unauthorized operation, you could be staring down the barrel of a felony charge.

It's a high-risk game where the law holds the trump card. But don't let this deter you. With a careful approach and a clear understanding of the rules, there's still plenty of fun to be had. Just bear in mind, when it comes to gambling in Rhode Island, caution is your best bet. So, familiarize yourself with the laws, play within the boundaries, and let Lady Luck do the rest.


What is considered legal gambling

In the Ocean State, the gambling scene is as varied as a New England seafood platter. Rhode Island, the smallest state with the biggest heart, began offering a smorgasbord of legal gambling options that could make a Vegas high-roller blink. Here’s the deal: Rhode Island has now fully legalized online casino gambling starting on March 5th, after a trial-run involving the renowned and respected Bally’s Casino.

But first , we've got the glitz and glamor of commercial casinos. These establishments are as lively as a carnival, with everything from the jingle-jangle of slot machines to the intense focus at the poker table. The Twin River Casino is the star of the show, offering both cash games and tournaments that would make any poker aficionado beam with delight. It’s actually no surprise that Bally Casino was the first - and only - casino operator to launch in the state, because it owns and operates both land-based casinos, the aforementioned Twin River Lincoln Casino Resort and the Tiverton Casino and Hotel.

Next, we have the nostalgic allure of pari-mutuel betting and the state lottery, where fortune seekers test their luck in hopes of striking it rich. Charitable gambling also holds a special place in Rhode Island's gambling scene, as games like bingo and raffles are as American as apple pie, often organized for noble causes.

While Rhode Island has just begun offering regulated online casino gaming this March, , the laws don't explicitly ban playing on offshore sites, either. However, it's crucial to note that these offshore sites operate in a legal twilight zone and aren't regulated by any US authority. This lack of oversight means players might not enjoy the same level of protection they would on a state-regulated site. Hence, it's always advisable to stick to regulated platforms for safety and security - and we’re glad to tell you that Rhode Island residents no longer need to go for unregulated offshore casinos when they have a fully regulated online casino right on their doorstep!

The real game-changer, though? Online poker. Rhode Island could very well have online poker if it wants to - it’s just that Bally’s Casino doesn’t offer it yet. But the winds of change are blowing. If the cards fall right, Rhode Islanders could be going all-in from their living rooms very soon. As of now, though, you can enjoy over 170 slot games, a collection of table games, and live dealer games in the Ocean State.

So, whether you're a high-stakes player or a casual gamer, Rhode Island has a game for you. Just remember, always play by the rules, and may Lady Luck be on your side.


What is considered illegal gambling

In the gambling landscape of Rhode Island, there's a clear demarcation between what's above board and what's under the table. The Ocean State has a no-nonsense approach to illegal gambling, and stepping over that line could land you in a world of trouble.

Illegal gambling in Rhode Island is akin to a busted flush in poker - it's a losing hand. The law is unambiguous: any form of gambling not explicitly sanctioned is a no-go. This includes any lottery, game, or device used for the purpose of exposing, setting for sale, or disposing of any money, houses, lands, merchandise, or articles of value. In simpler terms, if it's not on the list of legal gambling activities, it's off limits.

This prohibition extends to unregulated online gambling, unauthorized sports betting, and any form of gambling activity not explicitly permitted by the state. Running an illegal operation is like playing Russian roulette - it's a high-risk game where the consequences could be severe, including potential felony charges.

So remember: in Rhode Island, it's always better to stay on the right side of the law. Stick to the legal forms of gambling, and you'll be able to enjoy the thrill of the game without the shadow of illegality looming over you.


The legal gambling age in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, the gambling scene is as varied as the ages at which you can start playing the game. The Ocean State, like a strict blackjack dealer, plays by the rules when it comes to the legal gambling age.

For the bingo, sports betting, and lottery enthusiasts (and those who fancy a flutter on the horses), the magic number is 18. It's like being dealt a straight in poker - you're in the game, but you've got to play your cards right.

But if you're looking to hit the slots or take your chances at a baccarat or roulette table in one of Rhode Island's glitzy casinos or online, you'll have to wait until you hit the big 2-1. It's a bit like waiting for that elusive royal flush - patience is key. So, whether you're a young gun or an old hand, keep in mind that in the game of gambling, it's not just about how you play the game, but when you start.

Rhode Island gambling image

Real money casinos in Rhode Island

In the Ocean State, the real money casinos are where the rubber meets the road. These joints are as lively as a three-ring circus, and they're where Rhode Islanders go to chase the American dream.

The Twin River Casino is the ultimate, glittery diamond, a veritable oasis in the desert for those looking to try their luck. With everything from the rattle of slot machines to the hush of the poker table, it's a gambler's paradise. On the other hand, there is also the Tiverton Casino and Hotel, where you can also go to stake your claim.

So, whether you're a high roller or just a casual player looking to have a good time, the rule is clear and straightforward in the game of gambling, you've got to be willing to put your money where your mouth is. And in Rhode Island, there's no better place to do that than at the real money casinos.


Online casinos in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, the magic started officially on March 5, although the law legalizing online casino gambling was signed in June of 2023 The legalization of online casino gaming in the Ocean State is a welcome change for Rhode Island’s many casino players, and there are even talks of geolocation software updates where a player, even when out of state, can gamble - but this is another decision to be made by the Rhode Island Division of Lottery in conjunction with another regulator in the state.

In the meantime, players can take heart! The online casino scene in RI is alive and kicking - and its sole online casino operator, Bally’s Casino, has made sure that players have lots of games and choices within their fingertips - whether they’re looking for a casual weekend game of blackjack or a thrilling all-day-long adventure at the slots.


Land-based casinos in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, land-based casinos are the heart of the action. These venues are as vibrant as a jazz band in full swing, serving as the go-to spots for Rhode Islanders looking to try their luck. So if you’re keen to have a go at a real slot machine or take your chances at a game of roulette, then you’d best head on over to RI’s land-based casinos for some real glitz and glamour.

The crown jewel is the Twin River Casino, a gambling oasis in the northern side of Rhode Island, near Providence. From the mesmerizing spin of the slot machines to the high-stakes drama at the poker tables, it's a haven for thrill-seekers. But it's not all about the adrenaline rush. You can also visit the equally tantalizing Tiverton Casino and Hotel on the eastern part, and it’s an easy hop and skip from Cape Cod and New Bedford.

In the colorful world of gambling, fortune favors the bold. And in Rhode Island, there's no better place to take that bold step than at the land-based casinos, if you are so inclined.


Tribal casinos in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island's colorful gambling scene, there's a noticeable absence of tribal casinos. Despite its wide array of gambling options, Rhode Island doesn't host any tribal casinos, despite the best efforts of some local tribes to open one in the area. It's akin to a poker game without the wild cards - still exciting, but missing that unpredictable element.

But don't let that deter you. Rhode Island still has a full house of other gambling options, especially with its recently legalized online casino operations! From the dazzling lights of commercial casinos to the emerging online casino scene , there's plenty to keep gamblers on their toes.


Shipboard and floating casinos

Rhode Island, known for its diverse gambling scene, surprisingly doesn't offer shipboard or floating casinos. Despite its extensive coastline and the state's maritime history, this particular form of gambling hasn't anchored in its waters.

While the absence of floating casinos might seem like a missed opportunity, Rhode Island compensates with a variety of other gambling options. From the bustling atmosphere of land-based casinos to the emerging world of online casino gambling, the state provides ample opportunities for those looking to test their luck.

So, even though you won't find any casinos bobbing in Rhode Island's waters, there's no shortage of places to place your bets. And in Rhode Island, the gambling scene, though lacking floating casinos, still promises a thrilling ride.


Racinos in Rhode Island

Rhode Island's gambling landscape is known for its variety, and a standout feature is the presence of racinos. In fact, Rhode Island is the first state to allow the operation of racinos, which offer horse betting and casino gaming in one. These establishments, namely Twin River Casino in Lincoln and Tiverton Casino Hotel in Tiverton, offer a unique fusion of casino gaming and live horse racing.

Racinos provide a multifaceted gambling experience. Patrons can indulge in the excitement of slot machines and then switch to the suspense of live horse racing, all within the same venue. This blend of entertainment options keeps gamblers intrigued and continually returning for more.

Regardless if you're a horse racing enthusiast, a fan of slot machines, or a casual gambler seeking a diverse experience, Rhode Island's racinos cater to a wide range of preferences. This unique element of the state's gambling scene contributes to the broad spectrum of options available to gamblers.


Off-track betting in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, the gambling scene is as varied as a patchwork quilt, and one square that adds a unique pattern is simulcast or racing off-track betting. It's like the wild card in a poker game - it changes the dynamics and adds an extra layer of excitement.

Rhode Island's racinos, Twin River Casino in Lincoln and Tiverton Casino Hotel in Tiverton, offer off-track betting, providing a front-row seat to the action without having to step foot on the racetrack. It's like watching a horse race in your living room - you get all the excitement without the mud. These establishments offer simulcast racing, allowing patrons to bet on races happening across the country. It's like having a passport to every racetrack in America, without leaving the comfort of your bar stool.

If off-track betting is more your thing, Rhode Island offers a unique way to get in on the action. It's a sure bet for a good time, and a way to experience the thrill of the race, no matter where it's happening.

Nearest land based casinos

We've compiled a list of the most trusted land-based casinos if you're searching for "Rhode Island casinos near me":

Bally’s Twin River Lincoln
Bally’s Twin River Lincoln is a 136-room casino located in Lincoln, Rhode Island offering a range of classic and digital gaming options. Patrons can enjoy games like blackjack, keno, slots, and three versions of poker, craps, roulette, baccarat, three card poker, Spanish 21, Let it Ride, Pai Gow Poker, Big Six Wheel, and poker room, as well as a sports book and racebook. Valet parking is free and the price range of the rooms range from $139-$189. Restaurants are on site and digital and live versions of blackjack and roulette can be found at the casino.
100 Twin River Road, Lincoln, RI 02865
Phone Number:
(401) 723-3200
Bally’s Tiverton
Bally's Tiverton is the perfect getaway for Rhode Island residents! Located just 16 miles from the Massachusetts border, you can enjoy 84 newly-remodeled hotel rooms and a variety of casino favorites, such as slots, video poker, video keno, blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat, three card poker, spanish 21, pai gow poker, let it ride, sports bar, and a race book. Plus, an added bonus is the food court with three fast food outlets. Room rates start at $109 for a great stay, and reservations can be made by calling (800) 874-3669. Get away from it all at Bally's Tiverton!
777 Tiverton Casino Boulevard, Tiverton, RI 02878
Phone Number:
(401) 816-6000
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Sports betting in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, the sports betting scene is as lively as a buzzer-beater in a championship game - as a matter of fact, sports betting came way before online casino gambling, launching in RI as far back as 2019. The Ocean State has embraced this form of gambling with open arms, making it a key player in its gaming lineup.

Rhode Island hit a home run in 2018 when it legalized sports betting, becoming the eighth state to do so. The state's two casinos, Twin River Casino and Tiverton Casino Hotel, stepped up to the plate, offering sportsbooks where fans can place their bets on a wide range of sports. But the game changed in 2019 when Rhode Island knocked it out of the park by legalizing mobile sports betting. Now, fans can place their bets from the comfort of their own homes, making it as easy as a layup in basketball.

Sports betting in Rhode Island offers a way to get in on the action. It's a slam dunk for those looking for a bit of excitement and a way to support their favorite teams. Just remember, always play responsibly.

Rhode Island sports betting image

Social casinos in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, the concept of social casinos has found a unique place to settle in comfortably with RI residents. These online platforms allow players to engage in casino games such as slots, poker, and blackjack without wagering real money. Instead, players use virtual currency, emphasizing the enjoyment and fun aspect of the game over financial gain.

Social casinos offer a way for Rhode Islanders to experience the thrill of casino games without the associated risk. It's a platform for engagement, enjoyment, and social interaction without the pressure of betting real money. Popular social casinos include Double Down Casino, Slotomania, Zula Casino, Fortune Coins, High 5 Casino, Tao Fortune, Sweeptastic, DingDingDing, Vegas Gems, Pulsz, and Wow Vegas. These platforms offer a variety of games and experiences, catering to different player preferences.

While these platforms do not replace the experience of real-money casinos, they offer a unique and engaging form of entertainment. They provide a relaxed environment for both experienced gamblers and newcomers to enjoy their favorite games and familiarize themselves with the casino environment. However, it's important to note that these platforms may not be suitable for individuals with compulsive gambling problems, as the games could potentially trigger real-money gambling impulses.

Daily fantasy sports

In the Ocean State, daily fantasy sports (DFS) have carved out a unique niche. While DFS was deemed legal by the Attorney General of the state in 2016, they aren't deemed illegal either, creating a gray area that major DFS operators like DraftKings and FanDuel have navigated to accept players from Rhode Island.

DFS contests are akin to a strategic sports puzzle. Participants construct their teams, meticulously choosing each player while adhering to a salary cap. It's a blend of strategy, sports knowledge, and a dash of luck, somewhat reminiscent of forecasting the unpredictable New England weather.

However, it's crucial to understand that while DFS is accessible in Rhode Island, it lacks regulation. This means that while the excitement of the game is there, the safeguards associated with regulated gambling are absent. So, for Rhode Islanders with a passion for sports and a strategic mind, DFS could be your game. Just remember to engage responsibly, and may your sports knowledge serve you well.

Bingo in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, bingo is a beloved fixture in the gambling arena, and this timeless game is as quintessentially American as a Fourth of July parade. Bingo in the Ocean State is primarily a charitable affair, often hosted by churches, veterans' organizations, and other non-profit groups. It's a fundraising tool that doubles as a social event, much like a community potluck where fun meets philanthropy.

It's important to note, however, that while bingo games are prevalent in Rhode Island, they operate under state regulation. This means organizations must secure a license to host these games and adhere to specific rules and regulations. So, if you find yourself in Rhode Island and are seeking a fun, community-oriented gambling experience, bingo might be your game of choice. Just remember, the goal is to enjoy the game and play responsibly.

Poker in Rhode Island

Poker has long had a seat at the table in the RI gambling scene. The game, which is as much a part of the American fabric as a cowboy in a Western, is available for players at Bally's Twin River Casino in Lincoln.

This isn't your backyard poker game, though. The stakes can be as high as the Newport mansions, with cash games and tournaments that attract players from all walks of life. It's a melting pot of strategy, bluffing, and the thrill of the unknown.

However, the poker landscape in Rhode Island is about to get even more exciting. As you know by now, the state has passed legislation to legalize online poker, and although there isn’t any online poker operator yet (Bally’s isn't offering it as of now), this move will allow poker enthusiasts to go all-in from the comfort of their own homes.

Whether you're an experienced card shark or a beginner eager to learn the ropes, the poker offerings in Rhode Island cater to all skill levels. But remember, in the game of poker, as in life, it's all about strategic decisions and knowing when to take a risk and when to play it safe.

Gambling tips

Navigating the diverse gambling terrain in Rhode Island is akin to exploring the state's variegated but beautiful coastline. But before you set sail into this exciting new world, here are a few tips to guide you on your gambling journey.

  1. Firstly, it's crucial to understand your game. Whether it's poker, slots, or sports betting, being familiar with the rules and strategies can mean all the difference between smooth sailing or stormy seas.
  2. Secondly, setting a budget is essential. Determine what you're willing to spend before you begin, and stick to it. This is similar to charting a course for a voyage - you wouldn't set sail without knowing your limits, would you?
  3. Lastly, always remember that gambling should be an enjoyable activity. If the fun starts to ebb, it's time to dock your ship. This is like a day at the beach - if the enjoyment starts to fade, it's time to pack up and leave.

These tips can serve as your compass to help you navigate Rhode Island's gambling scene. Enjoy the adventure and always remember to steer your gambling ship responsibly.


The history of gambling in the Ocean State

Rhode Island's gambling history is a fascinating journey that began in the 1930s. The state first ventured into the gambling world with the legalization of horse and greyhound racing in 1934. This was the only form of betting available in the state for nearly 40 years, until the state decided to introduce a state-run lottery in 1973, with the very first draw in 1975. Needless to say, the lottery was a hit and continues to be a popular form of gambling in the state, even making its way online. In 1979, gaming for charity was legalized, and it allowed casino games to be offered for charity as long as there were no real money prize winnings. Then, in 2003, electronic games were also legalized, and this meant the formation of racinos - where Lincoln Park was the first-ever racino in Rhode Island. It was also in 2010 that table games were allowed to operate in racinos, which was a huge step in the right direction.

In 2012, Rhode Island took another significant step in its gambling journey when voters approved the introduction of table games at the Twin River Casino. This move expanded the state's gambling offerings and brought a new level of excitement to the casino floor. The state's gambling landscape changed dramatically in 2018 when sports betting was legalized following a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision. This decision allowed individual states to legalize sports gambling, and Rhode Island was quick to take advantage of this opportunity.

Today, Rhode Island boasts two land-based casinos, Twin River Casino and Tiverton Casino Hotel, which offer a range of table games and slot machines. Rhode Islanders who are over 18 can also enjoy online sports betting, Daily Fantasy Sports, and social casinos. But now, with the advent of online casino gaming in the Ocean State, players over 21 are all agog with excitement - this change signals a new era of online gambling in RI, transforming the outlook and paving the way for greater tax revenues in the future.

It's clear that Rhode Island has come a long way in its gambling journey, and it's exciting to see what the future holds. For now, though, the spotlight is on the online gambling arena - and it shines brighter than ever!


The future of gambling in Rhode Island

Rhode Island's future in the gambling industry is looking as promising as a royal flush in a high-stakes poker game. The state has shown a progressive attitude towards gambling, and there's a sense of anticipation in the air about what's next.

With the influx of online casino gambling and its subsequent popularity in the state, both lawmakers and players are happy - one for the projected tax revenues which will undoubtedly be a big help for many projects in the state, and the other sector placing a lot of value on the whole new world that has just opened for them, where they could enjoy comfort and convenience while taking advantage of their favorite games online.

In the meantime, there's also talk of online poker becoming a real offering. The legalization of online poker is a definite game-changer for Rhode Island, opening up more significant gambling opportunities for its players in the state.

As the old saying goes, the future holds no certainties: but for gamblers in Rhode Island, it brims with an array of thrilling possibilities.

Responsible gaming in Rhode Island

Responsible gaming in Rhode Island is a paramount topic that echoes throughout the gambling world like a well-played melody. As the Ocean State embraces the exhilarating allure of betting, it also shoulders the responsibility of ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all players.

Rhode Island takes a proactive approach to promoting responsible gambling practices. The state provides resources and support for those who may need assistance in managing their gaming habits. From self-exclusion programs to helplines, players can seek help when needed, akin to having a lifeline in a game of chance.

As Rhode Island’s only online casino gambling operator, Bally’s Casino has also put resources and tools at its players’ disposal, which include:

  • A deposit limit for players, where they can set limits on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
  • Spending and wagering limits, where players can likewise set limits per day, week, or month.
  • Session limits, where players can limit their betting sessions, and once they have reached their limit, they are automatically logged out.
  • A cooling off or time out period, where players can opt to cool off or take a break anywhere from 72 hours to as much as 4 weeks.
  • Of course, there is also a self-exclusion option, where players can exclude themselves from playing in accordance with requirements from state regulators as well.

The casinos in RI also implement strict age verification measures to prevent underage gambling, just like a vigilant bouncer guarding the entrance.

In this gambling tale, responsible gaming is not just a side plot but a central theme. Rhode Island's dedication to ensuring responsible practices exemplifies its commitment to safeguarding the well-being of its players, as they navigate the thrilling world of gambling in the Ocean State.


What is the legality of online gambling in Rhode Island?

As of March, 2024, online casino gambling with real money is already legal and regulated in Rhode Island. The sole operator in the state is Bally's Casino, which also operates Rhode Island's two land-based casinos, Twin River Casino and Triverton Casino and Hotel. With the legalization of online gaming, players can now enjoy slot games, table games, and live dealer games, as well as sports betting and horse race betting and bingo for real money prizes, which were all legalized in 2019.

How does Rhode Island regulate online gambling sites?

Rhode Island regulates online gambling sites with the authority of the Rhode Island Division of Lottery and with help from other authorities such as the RI Department of Business Regulation and the RI Department of Revenue. Since online gambling is now legal in Rhode Island, the state enforces strict rules and ensures that all gambling laws and regulations are followed.

Can I use a VPN to gamble online from Rhode Island?

Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access online gambling sites from Rhode Island may not be advisable. While it's technically possible to use a VPN to bypass geo-restrictions and access offshore gambling sites, doing so may violate the terms of service of the site and could pose legal risks. It's essential to follow the laws and regulations of the state regarding online gambling.

Are there any legal online casinos in Rhode Island?

No, currently, there are no legal online casinos that offer real-money gambling in Rhode Island. The state has not yet passed legislation to legalize and regulate online casinos. However, residents and visitors can still enjoy land-based casinos in Rhode Island, such as Twin River Casino and Tiverton Casino Hotel, which offer a variety of casino games and entertainment options. Additionally, social casinos are legal in the state, where players can play casino games for fun and prizes without wagering real money.

Wia Van Cauwenberghe
Editor | Writer

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