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Rhode Island Poker Laws In 2017

Rhode Island is one of America’s smallest states by land mass and population, but there are still some good real cash gambling options to be found there. Commercial casinos, simulcast horse and dog racing betting, a state lottery and charitable betting are among the real cash gambling choices available to those in the Ocean State.

Rhode Island’s two land-based casino venues are Twin River in Lincoln, and Newport Grand in Newport. They combine to offer those in RI 3,341 slot machines to play at. Table games are on the menu, in the form of roulette, poker and the all the usual favorites, and you can also enjoy simulcast real cash betting on horse and dog races at these facilities.

Up until 2009 there was still live greyhound racing at Lincoln Park in Rhode Island, but the closest you’ll come to pari-mutuel betting on dog racing these days is by placing wagers on simulcast events. Greyhound racing has been largely shut down in the U.S. over the last two decades.

Rhode Island’s real money state lottery was launched in 1974 and has since pumped millions of dollars into the state general fund and distressed communities. There’s also the option to take part in legal charitable betting, such as raffles and bingo, where, “all proceeds must be used for a charitable purpose.”

All this is included below:

  • Playing poker within the law in RI
  • Legal poker sites for RI citizens
  • Swift payment methods for online poker players
Rhode Island Poker Laws

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Online Gambling Law in Rhode Island

There is no specific reference we can find to online or Internet real money gambling in Rhode Island legislation, but that doesn’t mean you should go ahead and assume it’s fine. In fact, seeing as online gambling is not listed as a permissible form of gambling in the state we must the draw the conclusion is it illegal.

We would add that there are no cases we’ve uncovered of an individual in Rhode Island being charged of prosecuted for the action of gambling for real money at an online casino. That being said, we would always defer to a qualified legal authority to advise on such matters.

Can Players from Rhode Island Play Online Poker?

Can Players from Rhode Island Play Online Poker?

Poker lovers in Rhode Island should have no issues whatsoever in accessing poker websites, registering for accounts and playing for real cash at the virtual tables. You’ll find a good number of sites that will accept your registration and, once the banking formalities are settled, you should be playing in a matter of minutes.

It’s important you perform due diligence before choosing a real cash online poker website however. Not all sites are equipped with the latest in security software and you’ll find big fluctuations in game quality, bonus offering and the range of poker formats on offer. Our advice is to consult credible poker website review resources before diving it at a site.

Recent Developments

The big news in the world of Rhode Island gambling is talk of a big new casino close to the state’s border with Massachusetts. The casino would reportedly boast more than 1,000 slot machines and a good selection of live tables games. We’re talking about a million resort-style casino that could take RI real money gambling to the next level of evolution, and would be a seriously exciting proposition for casino lovers in the state.

The Facts

Rhode Island has expanded its real cash gambling in recent years, by firstly turning racetracks into racinos and later adding table games at what are now casinos. For its size, RI is well served by the two casinos venues on offer and may be adding a third.

The History of Gambling in Rhode Island

Pari-mutuel betting on horse races has been legal in Rhode Island since the 1930s, while betting on live greyhound racing took place in the state until it was banned in 2009. Punters can now enjoy off-track simulcast betting at licensed venues, which began in 1991.

Recent developments have seen table games made legal in RI’s two casinos. The state’s lottery, which launched in 1974, continues to thrive and charitable gambling remains a legal option.

Regulated Gambling Options in Rhode Island

The following would be classed as regulated gambling options in Rhode Island:

  • Pari-mutuel betting on simulcast horse and dog racing
  • Charitable betting
  • State lottery
  • Commercial casinos offering slot machines and table games

The Future of Regulated Online Gambling in Rhode Island

There are no clear signs that Rhode Island is pursuing a path to legalize online real cash gambling right now. As things stand, three states in the U.S. have made the move to do so – being Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware – and more are expected to follow in their wake.

We should expect Rhode Island legislators to watch closely for how those three states perform, in terms of generating revenue for their respective states, before the conversation develops to the stage where a bill might be introduced.

Could RI have legal online gambling in the next two years? It looks unlikely, but you can never say never, and the more states that get onboard with legal online real cash gambling, the greater the temptation for RI to join them.

The Bottom Line

Rhode Island - The Bottom Line

Rhode Island, for a state of its size, has just about enough to keep real money gamblers occupied. Further expansion is hoped for, and the introduction of a new casino resort in the state could prove the catalyst for a new era of real money gambling in RI.


  • [1]World Casino Directory: Rhode Island
  • [2]Rhode Island State Lottery: About
  • [3]Rhode Island State Police: Charitable Gaming
  • [4]Proposed RI Casino Would Stand Feet from Mass. Border
  • [5]Rhode Island Sports and Race Wagering

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