Business News

Rhode Island became the eighth US state to launch sports betting as Twin River Casino accepted its first official sports bets on Monday at its newly opened sportsbook.

The first bets – which were all winners - were placed at the Lincoln-based casino by Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, and John Taylor, chairman of the casino’s owner Twin River Worldwide Holdings.

Ruggerio bet on the NFL’s Houston Texans to beat the Tennessee Titans (Texans won 34-17), while Mattiello and Taylor both bet on the NBA’s Boston Celtics to beat the New Orleans Pelicans (Celtics won 124-107).

Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo had paved the way for legal sports betting at the state's Twin River Casino after signing the state's 2019 budget bill into law in June.

The budget included a provision allowing Twin River to launch sports betting at its existing facility in Lincoln, as well as the newly opened Tiverton venue, which is aiming to launch its sportsbook next month.

Both sportsbooks are powered by IGT and William Hill US, following a procurement process run by the Rhode Island Lottery earlier this year.

Rhode Island's sports betting tax rate is the highest yet in the country, with 51 per cent of sports betting revenue going to the state. It is one of eight US states to have regulated sports betting so far, alongside Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico.