We reported in July the Rhode has had tough first year of legal betting, hence why the launch of Rhode Island mobile sports betting was seen as an important step. The application on September 4 has allowed residents and visitors to the state the opportunity to bet directly from their homes.
Just a couple of weeks later, Rhode Island is now facing a possible lawsuit which argues that mobile sports betting is unconstitutional.
According to the constitution of Rhode Island, for any gambling expansion to be approved, a referendum has to be held in the state and voting should take place in individual cities and towns.
To date, only Lincoln and Tiverton have complied with this law and voted to approve sports betting in the state.
Users who want to use the sports betting app, will have to go to the casinos located in Tiverton or Lincoln to sign up for an account. Once they have created an account, they are then eligible to place their bets from the comfort of their homes in Rhode Island.
NBC 10 WJAR
Rhode Island Department of Revenue’s, chief of Information and Public Relations, Paul Grimaldi is certain the law governing sport betting is being complied with because the servers to run mobile sports betting is located in these two casinos and hence says the state constitution is not being violated.
Grimaldi confirmed that sport betting is set to generate at least $22.7 million dollars in revenue in 2020, with almost $17.3 million emanating from the use of mobile sports betting app.
Reasons For The Lawsuit
Daniel Harrop, a psychiatrist and one-time mayoral candidate for Providence GOP believes that this lawsuit against Rhode Island is very much valid. He argues that Rhode Island Lottery’s sports betting app has denied residents their constitutional right to vote.
Harrop fears that the continued sports betting’s expansion to various parts of the state including private residences will increase cases of gambling addiction. He advises the state to consider the effects of gambling expansion and put in place measures to help those addicted to betting. He decided to take the legal route and filed a lawsuit in this regard.
However, his lawsuit was dismissed on the grounds that he had not been harmed in any way by the expansion of sports betting.
Determined, Harrop came back with proof confirming he had lost $20 through betting, thus getting a chance to file his case once again. On Sep 23, a hearing will take place to ascertain if the $20 loss will sustain his case. In the meantime, Harrop maintains that he is not against gambling, as long as the law is followed.