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Rhode Island leaning towards legalizing online gambling

Taking many industry observers by surprise, the smallest US state, Rhode Island, appeared to be leaning toward online gambling legalisation Tuesday night with revisions to a more general gambling bill that included the consideration of legalised online gambling subject to the federal government taking the lead by legalising the pastime first.

The bill was presented to a state House Finance Committee hearing, and may be added to a budget proposal due for voting later this week, according to local media reports.

The reports reveal that the owners of the Lincoln-based land gambling operation Twin Rivers are keen to offer online gambling in order to create fresh revenue streams, which could yield more tax dollars.

Committee Chairman Helio Melo told lawmakers the entire proposal may be offered up as an amendment to the $7.7-billion budget proposal scheduled for a House vote on Friday.

Lawmakers are apparently interested in what it might mean if the US Congress lifted the current restrictions on online gambling, and Twin River consequently offered the opportunity for gamblers in Rhode Island and beyond to gamble on its website.

Rep. Russell Jackson opined that the bill would potentially limit the online opportunity to the Twin River and Newport Grand operations, and he asked: “Why would we want to do that?”

Twin River executive Craig Eaton said the answer is complicated but, at this point, Twin River’s owners simply want to get “ahead of the curve,” by seeking voter approval for a form of gambling that may not ever be legalised.

Source: InfoPowa News

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