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Rhode Island and Mississippi inch closer to legalized sports betting

NY Sports betting

NY Sports betting
Rhode Island and Mississippi appear to be closer to offering legalized sports betting in their states. In the case of the former, sports betting may, in fact, be imminent.

The state of Rhode Island is in a similar position that New Jersey was in about 10 days ago. All that is required to legalize sports betting is the governor’s signature.

The governor of the tiny USA state, Gina Raimondo, has indicated that she will sign the bill that will make betting legal before Friday. Thus, it appears to be just a waiting game for punters, perhaps some anxious to get bets down while the FIFA World Cup is still going on.

Some analysts project that nearly a billion dollars worth of bets could to be made in Rhode Island in the 12 months. Peter Amsel of wrote of “estimates” that Rhode Island “casinos will handle around $910m worth of wagers from a population of just over (one million people)” in the state. He points out, perhaps to cast doubt on the projection, that there is “no web or mobile wagering in the state’s current betting language.”

The estimate of $910m does seem large when viewed relative to Rhode Island’s small population.

But it may work in the state’s favor that nearby New York is dilly-daddling on the topic of sports betting.

Nearby Massachusetts may wait until 2019 to legalize sports betting, with the major city of Boston not far from Rhode Island. It’s not just the population of Rhode Island that is relevant, but the greater region as well.

What could brew for the balance of 2018 is a competition for out-of-state bettors between New Jersey and Rhode Island.

Mississippi is not as close to legalized sports betting as Rhode Island seems to be. Regulators will vote later this week on the issue with perhaps a July target in mind.

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