Guide to Gambling in Rhode Island

Rhode Island

Legal Update June 2023

Rhodes island becomes the first state in the US to approve online casino gambling in 2023 year after the legislature forwarded its online casino bill to the Governor for his signature. Lauch date is expected by May, 2024.

Rhode Island’s gambling industry usually plays ‘catch-up’ with its state neighbors. Rhode Island legalized horse-racing, a state lottery, video-lottery-terminals and casino table-games after other states in the New England region.

In June 2018, however, Rhode Island legislated to beat other New England states to-the-punch by legislating in favor of launching sports betting and the first sports bets were placed in November 2018.

Since that time, Rhode Island’s second casino began operating its sportsbook.

Meanwhile, Rhode Island offers its gamblers a great land-based casino industry (with online casinos in the implementation pipeline), legalized sports betting, live poker, horse racing betting (off-track and online), legal Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) competitions, the Rhode Island state lottery and charitable gambling.

Rhode Island Casino Gambling

There are literally hundreds of lottery retailers and a handful of bingo halls (charitable gambling only) in Rhode Island. On the other hand, there are only two legal land-based casinos at which to gamble.

Both of Rhode Island’s land-based casinos offer live horse racing, off-track horse racing, off-track greyhound racing, sports betting, slots, video poker and electronic table games. Great table game options also exist including live poker, craps, roulette, Big 6 Wheel, blackjack baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, Let it Ride and Three Card Poker.

You’ll find more than 5200 slots and gaming machines at Rhode Island’s casinos and there is a total of more than 124 table games. According to our intensive research by a panel of state experts on the casinos of Rhode Island, the minimum bet we’ve located at casinos in Rhode Island is $0.01 and the maximum bet limits are generous (including some No Limit Poker Tables).

Online Casinos in Rhode Island

Like of the majority of Americans when it comes to online gambling, residents of Rhode Island are a little frustrated.

Rhode Island’s original laws include no specific mention to online gambling, or even the terms “internet” and “electronic,” and no amendments or bills addressing the industry have been introduced.

Players in Rhode Island can however, access online gambling sites that are fully regulated and linked to land-based casinos in the state. Delaware even publicly floated the possibility of linking ‘jackpot liquidity’ with Rhode Island – suggesting that online gambling regulation maybe in the pipeline in the near future.

Take note, that Rhode Island doesn’t mess around with operators of illegal online gambling sites.

Rhode Island state police force made national headlines in April 2016, after a raid which culminating in dozens of arrests of people allegedly running an illegal online sportsbook.

What we can expect in the future is for potentially legal Rhode Island Online Casinos to supply online bettors with quality games, great customer service options, secure sites powered with SSL encryption for industry-leading player security and protection, and the opportunity to make some big life-changing wins – much like what is currently offered with NJ’s best online casinos.

Poker in Rhode Island

Social ‘home’ Poker games are not exactly legal in Rhode Island. Playing home poker games can run afoul of the state laws, not just because there is no specific exception for such games and player beware.

If you’d like to play Poker in Rhode Island legally without any hassles, see section below for information on the State’s Poker Rooms.

Poker Rooms

Of course, you can play many different types of poker (Casino Hold’em, Texas Hold’em, Caribbean Stud Poker, No Limit Hold’em etc.) perfectly legally and without fear of breaking the law at either of Rhode Island’s two land-based casinos.

Rhode Island’s two casinos offer more than 20 tables of legal poker play for the state’s residents and visitors.

Online Poker Laws

If you’re interested in playing Poker legally without any fear of legal punishment, stick to Rhode Island’s land-based casinos for the time being.

Legal online casinos offering online poker among their suite of games are anticipated to be launched in the state of Rhode Island in the near future.

History of Online & Land-Based Gambling in Rhode Island

1934 – Horse Racing Betting was first introduced to Rhode Island at two racetracks in the state. Due to competition from larger New England states, live horse racing closed down in Rhode Island. Today, simulcast betting and online horse racing is available in Rhode Island.

1973 – Rhode Island State Lottery begins and in 1975, it became the first state lottery in the United States to broadcast the lottery draw on television.

1979 – Charitable Gaming Legalized on a limited and state licensed basis for poker, casino nights, bingo and raffles. In 1993, the provisions for charitable casino nights and charitable poker were annulled.

2003 – Video Lottery Terminals (VLTS) introduced at one of the state’s former racetracks to become a ‘racino’.

2010 – Table games became legal in both the state’s casinos.

2012 – Residents of one of the two casino areas in Rhode Island overturn the legalization of table games by local referendum.

2016 – Rhode Island Attorney General, Peter Kilmartin, deems Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) not to be gambling and therefore legal, thus removing the requirement for legalization by the Rhode Island State Legislature.

2018 – Sports Betting Legalized at Rhode Island Casinos.

Read More about Rhode Island’s Online Sports Betting Laws