Raimondo to support Ruggerio’s proposal to legalize online sports betting in R.I.

PROVIDENCE – Gov. Gina M. Raimondo supports a proposal by Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio to legalize online sports betting in Rhode Island, WPRI-TV CBS 12 reported.

Ruggerio, D-Providence, said legislation is currently being crafted, which he will introduce in the next legislative session. He said it would not require a statewide referendum.

Ruggerio said legalized online sports betting could bring in approximately $50 million to the state, doubling its current sports-betting take.

Providence College professor Patrick Kelly, who has studied gambling addiction, told WPRI-TV making gambling more convenient would be “a recipe for disaster” for the state’s nearly 18,000 problem gamblers, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling.

- Advertisement -

Kelly said the NCPG recommends 1 percent of revenue go to prevention and treatment programs, which would be about $3 million a year, compared with the current $125,000.

Ruggerio said looking at the social impact would be part of legalizing online sports betting.