Legal attempt to ban Sports Betting in Rhode Island failed

Legal attempt to ban Sports Betting in Rhode Island failed

Land-based and mobile sports betting services will continue to entertain gamers in Rhode Island as a local psychiatrist’s legal attempt to get the controversial services declared as unconstitutional has failed.

Social activist and psychiatrist Daniel Harrop, a Republican who has fruitlessly stood to be elected as the mayor of the city of Providence on three separate times, had filed a summary judgment request in September last year that would have forbidden Rhode Island’s two casinos from offering any kind of sports betting without explicit approval from voters. But, Rhode Island Superior Court Judge Brian Stern turned down the activist’s plea.

The eastern American state launched land-based sportsbooks through its Twin River Casino Hotel and Tiverton Casino Hotel in the month of November in 2018 after the state revoked the earlier Professional & Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) embargo. The land-based sportsbooks service was then followed by a mobile service to allow punters living anywhere in the state to place bets on a range of sports including contests from the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Football League (NFL).

The activist argued that Land-based and mobile sports betting services were unconstitutional as they had not been explicitly approved by the voters of the small state. But, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo (a Democrat) defended the services by arguing that state voters had sanctioned the services when they approved a 2016 referendum which had permitted the two casinos to host table games.

Siding with the governor’s argument, Superior Court Judge Brian Stern ruled that state voters had been provided with a ‘fair notice’ in 2016 that they would be broadly approving all casino gaming and related other games incorporated within the meaning of Class III gaming.

Pronouncing the judgment, the Superior Court Judge, ruled, “Voter approval of the referenda questions was not strictly limited to table games simply because table games were explicitly listed. Rather, voter approval encompassed all state-operated casino gaming.”

Explaining the decision, Judge Stern added that Rhode Island voters had similarly approved land-based as well as mobile sports betting services for gaming enthusiasts to enjoy throughout the state.

However, Judge Stern clarified that all wagers have got to be processed by computer servers positioned within the premises of the Twin River Casino Hotel and Tiverton Casino Hotel. The geographical stipulation means that gambling has not been physically expanded across Rhode Island to legalize mobile sports betting under the auspices of voter-approved referendum of 2016.