Gambling in Rhode Island
Little Rhody always tried to keep up with its big neighbors, and when it comes to gaming, it only partially managed to stay on trend. Rhode Island has a somewhat complex approach to gaming. Even though it was one of the 13 original colonies, it is no stranger to forward-thinking, modern ideas and new concepts, which makes its reluctance to accept gaming in all its forms even more odd.
Top Gambling Cities in Rhode Island
Rhode Island is the smallest US state, so any square feet of free space is paid in gold. Therefore, don’t be surprised if you don’t see a whole street filled with casinos. To make things a little easier, why not make your plans around some of the charming Rhode Island casinos found in charming small towns via our location suggestions below?
Twin River Casino Hotel in Lincoln is a sight for any gambling aficionado. Revived in the early 2000s, it houses 4,200 slot machines, virtual table games, and 125 table games across 62,000 square feet of gambling space. Casinos in Rhode Island with slot machines don’t get bigger than this.
Lincoln is more than just a casino. The most picturesque casino city in Rhode Island is a 10-minute drive from Providence and less than an hour’s drive from Boston. It is a perfect weekend getaway from all the stress and hurry of our everyday lives!
Tiverton is a gambling city in Rhode Island that is a popular stop for everyone traveling to and from Cape Cod. Why? Because of Tiverton Casino Hotel, which first opened its doors in 2019.
This lavish and elegant casino spreads across 34,000 square feet of gaming space. The gaming repertoire consists of more than 1,000 slot machines, table games, and a racebook. And when you need a break from all the excitement, take a stroll down Fogland Beach and Grinnell's Beach on the Sakonnet River, and feel the strong breeze bring you back to reality!
Overview of Gambling in Rhode Island
Rhode Island and gambling go hand in hand only every once in a while. Still, we have to admit the authorities are making major steps in making as many forms of gambling legal as possible. The problem is that the steps they make are baby steps, or at least they were, until one brave lady took things into her own hands - Gov. Gina Raimondo.
Both Rhode Island casinos are alive and thriving. Although we wouldn’t mind seeing more venues scattered across the state, they are a haven of entertainment for everyone looking to have a great time. Players can enjoy a range of genres, starting with slot machines, across blackjack and bingo, all the way down to roulette. All brick-and-mortar venues are operated by commercial companies.
Do you fancy some sports betting Rhode Island action while you are already there? Go ahead! Thanks to Gov. Gina Raimondo, Rhode Island was among the first states to recognize the potential of sports betting. Place your bets on your favorite sports teams in retail shops or online, but make sure you are not involved in any greyhound races, as they have been pushed to the wrong side of the law since 2010.
All this is fine and dandy, but what about lottery, charity gaming, and social gaming - three incredibly fun types of gambling we haven’t mentioned yet? The lottery is legal and organized by the National Lottery. Charity gambling is allowed if conducted according to certain rules and restrictions (nothing out of the ordinary, really).
What makes Rhode Island gambling so interesting is the age limit. Unlike other states that set it at 21, Rhode Island allows gambling to everyone over the age of 18.
Online Gambling in Rhode Island
A real money online casino Rhode Island option is still a miracle waiting to happen. Currently, no significant initiatives are pushing bills regarding any type of online casino Rhode Island offering in the future. Surprisingly so, sports betting is a huge thing in Ocean State.
There is the answer, in case you were wondering, to the question no one dares to say out loud: is online gambling legal in Rhode Island? It is, but not all of it!
Rhode Island was one of the very first states to jump on the bandwagon and ride the sports betting wave back in 2018. Namely, that’s when the Supreme Court ruled against the sports betting ban, also known as PASPA. At first glance of the green light, Rhode Island authorities hurried up to grab their slice of cake.
But let’s not rush, as we’ll get to whether you have legal sports betting Rhode Island options in a moment.
First, we’ll talk about poker. The game of all games, the king of the casino scene, the… call it what you want, poker remains the most popular card game. Yet, after the early 2000s, when the poker bubble burst, Rhode Island lawmakers didn’t hurry to make it legal.
Therefore, it is not legal to play online poker in Rhode Island. We are sure you can find a platform providing this service in some corner of the internet, yet we strongly recommend against signing up with such operators. Also, if the main poker platforms in the US, such as WSOP, don’t provide services in your state, why settle for less and expose yourself to risk?
Now we can go back to online betting and the joy it brings! Sports betting on the internet was introduced in 2020. The lawmakers decided to make things as streamlined as possible and decided that customers don’t have to sign up in retail shops but can easily do so from mobile devices, just like European bettors.
Shocked? Don’t be. During the financial year 2021-22, residents of Rhode Island spent more than $500m on sports betting. We won’t do the maths, but let’s just say that a significant amount of that revenue ended up in the state treasury. Perhaps they should take a look at the broader picture and consider other types of online gambling Rhode Island has to offer.
Back in the 1500s, when Europeans first stepped foot on Rhode Island, it was bursting with Native tribes just living their lives day by day. Unfortunately, the Pequots, the Nipmucs, the Niantics, the Narragansetts, and the Wampanoags haven’t managed to reach the status some other US tribes have.
At the moment, there's only one federally recognized Native American tribe in Rhode Island: the Narragansetts. Unlike others, this tribe never managed to capitalize on the 1988 law, allowing them to operate casino venues on their lands.
In 2018, the Narragansett tribe teamed up with Harrah’s Entertainment, hoping to start a business endeavor. However, a public ballot was very clear, with 63% of voters opposing the idea. The tribal attorney, Douglas Luckerman, described the outcome as a tragedy, especially as the court rejected any appeals. They said that the authorities and the community are supporting tribes only on paper.
Claire Richards, special counsel to Gov. Donald Carcieri disagreed. They explained that the voters weren’t against the Natives but against the idea of gaming. The entire idea has been put on hold, and the Narragansetts haven’t tried to push it forward since the event.