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.
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.