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Proposal would set up ability to play table games remotely

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(The Center Square) – Providing a new way to access table games at Bally’s Twin River Casino is the focus of a Rhode Island Senate bill headed to the House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 948 Sub A was approved late Thursday, said Senate President Dominick J. Ruggiero, D-North Providence. The legislation would allow Rhode Island residents over the age of 21 to play table games remotely within the state using a computer or mobile app.

“This legislation provides an added convenience to Rhode Islanders who would like to play the existing table games offered at Twin River via their mobile devices,” Ruggiero said. “It helps ensure the continued strength of the state facilities in the competitive regional gaming market, and in so doing protects an important revenue stream that provides funding for vital state programs and investments.”

According to a release, the bill, which went through a thorough committee hearing process surrounding Bally’s initial proposal, was amended so that a live dealer must be in place. The legislation is similar to a New Jersey law that requires bets to be placed in Atlantic City.

In fiscal year 2023, according to the information posted with the Rhode Island Lottery, the total net table game revenue at Bally’s Twin River Casino is $76,622.820 through April.

The bill, if enacted, would mandate that a miniature casino be developed, similar to that of a television studio, where games are simulcast to those wishing to place wagers on mobile devices.

Under the bill, according to a release, revenue-sharing percentages would not be changed from already existing revenue ratios in place.

“This is a focused version of iGaming that is ready for passage and implementation,” Ruggiero said in a statement. “This iGaming legislation is constitutional, is geared to mature users, contains education provisions for problem gamblers, and preserves the revenue allocation percentages as they are currently in place.”

Once in the House, the bill will be paired with similar legislation introduced by Rep. Gregory J. Constantino, D-Lincoln.

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