Bally’s wants to bring online casinos to Rhode Island by end of year

Bally’s wants to bring online casinos to Rhode Island by end of year

Bally’s Corp. wants to open up online casino gambling in America’s smallest, yet most densely populated state. Officials announced on Wednesday that they intend to seek approval from the Rhode Island government to bring fully licensed and regulated online gambling to the state. Bally’s is headquartered in the state’s capital, Providence.

The proposal was announced Wednesday afternoon at a luncheon held by the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. Asking for legislative and executive branch approval during this year’s General Assembly session, the company said it would propose legislation to allow the RI Division of Lotteries to authorize online slot games and table games for players in the state.

Pending all approvals, the company hopes to start offering online gambling in Rhode Island by January 1, 2024.

After commissioning a study on the matter, the company said it believes that broader liberalization of gambling regulation in the state would give its two casinos – Bally’s Tiverton Casino & Hotel and Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino Resort a better chance to remain competitive in the long run. The games would be served from one or both locations.

Increased Gambling Revenue for the State

The new metric would also help the company deliver more revenue to state coffers.

“We intend to model this after the legislation used to establish online sports betting in Rhode Island, effectively giving the State complete regulatory control and the ability to ensure the integrity of the program, while maximizing revenue for the State,” said Elizabeth Suever, Vice President of Government Relations for Bally’s Corporation. The state would be paid a percentage of all online gambling revenue generated by the site or sites.

The announcement came as a surprise to many as the company announced about three weeks ago that it would cut 15% of its North American interactive workforce. The announcement came in the form of a letter to Bally workers and a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

More recently, Bally’s announced that CEO Lee Fenton would step down, and Robeson Reeves, President of Interactive would take his place. Both leaders came onto the company as part of Bally’s friendly acquisition of UK-based Gamesys for $2.7 Billion in 2021. That deal was announced in March and consummated in October 2021.

The company completed several other acquisitions in the meantime and now has 15 land-based casinos throughout the US and was recently given the approval to build the first casino ever in Chicago, IL., America’s third-largest city. Bally’s also holds sports betting licenses in 18 states.

Spectrum Gaming Study

Prior to beginning a discussion in the state to promote its idea of online gambling, Bally’s commissioned industry experts Spectrum Gaming Group to conduct a study of the matter.

Some of Bally’s claims based on that study include the following assertions:

Retail casino gaming would be preserved in the state with few or no players switching completely from land-based gambling to online slots and tables. (Bally’s operates the only two casinos in Rhode Island).

The state could potentially reap $210 million in gambling taxes over the first five years.

Gross gaming revenue is projected to be an estimated $93.3 million in the first year, increasing to an estimated $130.6 million annually in year five.

The proposed legislation would leave the state in control of all responsible gambling protocols, security, system integrity, accounting, and operating procedures. The state would also set conditions and terms for online table gaming and slots.

Players would need to confirm their age and identity to gamble online. Geolocation and other services would be employed to guarantee that a person was physically located within the state’s borders any time they placed a bet.

The physical servers that process and record the wagers would be located within a restricted, secure location on the casinos’ premises.

Source: Bally’s Seeks to Expand Gaming in RI — Wants Approval for Online Casino Gaming,, February 15, 2023

Author: Henry Brown