Table and slot games could soon make their way into Rhode Island; however, the entry is dependent on how well Bally’s argues with the RI Division of Lotteries. According to media reports, Bally’s is all set to present the argument in the coming session of the General Assembly. Needless to say, the words will be in favor of bringing iGaming content to the state.
If reports are to be believed, the argument is based on the fact that the iGaming industry coming to Rhode Island would help the state increase revenue while positioning it better in the competitive New England gaming market.
Revenues surely take a hit since residents are either found engaging with an illegal player or placing their bets with operators from another state. The question, therefore, does come to mind as to how much a state can let go by not considering legalizing the iGaming sector.
Bally’s is currently running in losses, with the last number standing at $476.8 million after its assets were written down in the fourth quarter of 2022. This is a sharp decline from $115.29 million in net loss for the fourth quarter of 2021, but it does little justice to what is about to come next.
Spectrum Gaming and Bally’s conducted a study to understand the potential of the iGaming market in Rhode Island. The study found that the Island is pretty much asleep on its revenue of $93.3 million in GGR (gross gaming revenue). This is the estimate for the first year, which could go up to $130.6 million by the end of the fifth year.
As for taxes, the state can easily register $210 million in those five years. Does it do well with retail operators? Yes, it does since there is little to no transformation.
Bally’s proposed system even promises to guarantee that customers are verified as residents of the state at the time of placing bets. In addition, the state would have complete control over the industry, as it would establish the terms and conditions for the operation of iGaming content. The state might also retain security, integrity, and responsible gambling, which, despite being a contentious issue, can be managed with care by operators and regulators.
Elizabeth Suever of Bally’s Corporation stated that Bally’s is practically planning to hand up control of the program to the state, along with authority to ensure its integrity. Maximizing state revenue would continue to be the corporation’s top aim.
Assuming the bill goes through, it would be effective on the first day of the following year, provided all the regulations have been finalized. Gaming expansion in Rhode Island would see tons of online casino sites enter the market to provide unlimited entertainment.
Retail operators would be able to make additions to their offerings as well.