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Rhode Island – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
Named after its largest island, the coastal state of Rhode Island is the country’s smallest, along with being one of the least populated. On the other side of the coin, the Ocean State is the second most populated state in the US with New Jersey taking the number one spot there. Beautiful shorelines, rustic towns and seeing the golden colors of the leaves in fall are often cited as main draws to the state, but you may also be surprised to know that the unassuming state has some of the most liberal gambling laws in the country, especially when it comes to online play.
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More information about Rhode Island – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
There are lots of great choices for Rhode Island residents when it comes to sports betting online. Playing slots or any other type of casino games is not officially authorized though and there are no local operations offering any such services. Residents are however still able to access online casinos licensed overseas. These sites are not breaking any rules by being available online, as it is the government’s responsibility to block access to them. You will, however, have to be aware of the added risks involved with playing online from a restricted or unregulated market. The lack of governmental safety nets or legal recourse actionable by player provides a more attractive environment for illegitimate operations to set up shop. It is therefore important to remain vigilant and always question the authenticity and value of a site before registering any information with them.
- Is the casino licensed?
- How is the reputation of the site’s licensing body?
- What do review sites say about the casino?
- Are your preferred payment methods available?
- Will you be able to take advantage of a loyalty program?
It is important to consider the value and legitimacy of an American online casino before ever registering a single detail. This goes double for players residing in a restricted or unregulated territory, but should also be an important consideration from even those playing from a fully regulated market. At GoodLuckMate our reviews are written by writers with experience in the industry and a penchant for player-mindedness.
Regulated gambling goes as far back as 1934 for Rhode Island. The year saw legalized betting on horse and greyhound racing, which remained the only legal gambling activity until 1973 when the state-run lottery first became operational. These decades-old decisions were already more liberal than some states today and the trend continued for the Ocean State. The dissolution of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018 was a big move for the country, as this allowed for individual states to decide their own sports betting policies. Many states, Rhode Island included, immediately jumped on the opportunity by creating a fully regulated sports betting framework that would be applied to both online and offline activities. An even more recent update was made in 2020 which threw away the need for people to register themselves in a retail shop in order to place sports bets online.
Unfortunately, online casinos still haven’t received much love from Rhode Island. The only authorized activity comes in the form of social casinos. A workaround allows players to purchase sweeps coins that can be used to pay entry into competitions that are instead considered sweepstakes instead of gambling. While this is certainly a clever workaround, it highlights the absurdity of then not fully regulating online casinos.
Players from the US are positioned in somewhat of an unusual position when it comes to localization options at online casinos. On the one hand, most of the country remains legally restricted from accessing online casinos, while on the other, these sites are already set up to provide great localized content for US players. English is the default language of the industry and most operations are based in Europe, sharing a lot of Western culture and ideals with the US. There are also a lot of large US events that draw in huge international crowds like the Superbowl. The lack of site promotions and marketing campaigns are the real noticeable change for US player, as sites tend to not cross the line of directly advertising to specific players they are not technically authorized to cater to.
Just as English has become the default language of the internet, so too has the US dollar for transactions. It is almost ironic that the most widely available currency at online casinos (alongside euros) comes from a country that largely restricts them. The use of US dollars has been relatively widely adopted by various countries around the world, with some using dollars parallel to their local currency on a daily basis. That is why the dollar is used as a default option at online casinos for players whose local currency is not accepted. Another reason is the huge amount of payment providers who actively support dollar transactions. With all that being said, any player will find it incredibly easy to find a huge host of sites allowing you to deposit US dollars with a variety of payment options, from payment cards to e-wallets.
Rhode Island also has two land-based casinos, Twin River and Tiverton Casino, for visitors and locals to enjoy. This doesn’t sound like a lot, especially not for a population of over one million. The changes in legislation over the past few years have made this much less of an issue. The abolition of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was a landmark moment for gambling in the US. Giving individual states the ability to set up their own sports betting legislation, while also being able to add an online component was the final catalyst for bringing a lot of the country into the 21st century of gambling.
The fact that players can now place sports bets or buy lottery tickets online is a luxury that a large number of fellow countrymen are simply not afforded. Unfortunately, the changes in sports betting don’t seem to have carried any momentum over to casinos and there appear to be little changes forecasted for the state in the near future.