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Volume 25 No. 177

Gambling

Twin River's sportsbook will open an area with comfortable seating, tables and about 100 TVs
Photo: IGT

Rhode Island, once the "epicenter of mob-controlled bookmaking operations across New England," has made its "foray into legal sports betting," according to a front-page piece by Mark Reynolds of the PROVIDENCE JOURNAL. The "much-hyped launch of Sportsbook at Twin River, the only legal sports betting operation northeast of New York," happened just after 3:00pm ET, and was "firmly embraced by a crowd of gambling sports fans." Twin River Casino VP & GM Craig Sculos said that by mid-December, the sportsbook will "open an area equipped with comfortable seating, tables and about 100 televisions." Twin River spokesperson Patti Doyle said that the Sportsbook Rhode Island will "start taking bets" at Twin Rivers' Tiverton Hotel Casino in December. Reynolds notes Rhode Island projects $11.5M in "new revenue" between now and June 30 (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 11/27). The AP's Jennifer McDermott noted about 50 people "lined up during the ceremony to place bets." Rhode Island will receive 51% of the "revenue from sports betting," while the vendor will get 32% and the casino will get 17%. Twin River's two casinos are the "only places where bets will be accepted, for now," as the state "plans to explore ways to expand sports betting in the future." The Rhode Island Dept. of Revenue said that could "entail allowing bets at locations of existing lottery agents, such as places with Keno machines, as well as at sports bars." In Connecticut, a "planned special legislative session to take up sports betting was put on hold in August due to opposition from lawmakers" (AP, 11/26).

GETTING A GOOD ROLL: In Indianapolis, Mark Alesia noted legal sports gambling "appears to have momentum to become law" in Indiana, but before it does, legislators will "have many questions to answer." The Indianapolis-based NCAA "wants lawmakers to prohibit betting by athletes, coaches, game officials and administrators of sports organizations." This could "be a contentious issue." The Casino Association of Indiana also "wants sports wagering limited to current casino and racino license holders" (INDYSTAR.com, 11/26). 

MONEY MATTERS: The AP noted Monmouth Park, which led to the "successful push" to overturn a federal sports betting ban, "isn't giving up in its attempt to get monetary damages from the sports leagues that opposed the effort." The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NJTHA) has "claimed in legal filings that Monmouth Park was improperly prevented from implementing sports betting by a judge's order" in '14, and wants payment of a $3.4M bond, with interest, that the leagues posted in '14. The NJTHA also "wants roughly" $140M in damages, which it "claims is lost revenue" between '14 and this past May (AP, 11/26).