Bally’s Opens Rhode Island Online Casino Market

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Rhode Island has become the seventh state to launch an online casino market with the opening of Bally’s online casino on Tuesday.

The new Rhode Island online casinos market will, in fact, only be one casino.

In mid 2023, Bally’s, based in the state capital of Providence, received a monopoly license to offer online casino games in its home state.

It is now open for business, with 170 slots plus dedicated live dealer blackjack and roulette tables streamed from its physical Rhode Island casinos.

The state’s Department of Revenue expects online casino gaming to bring in $25 million in taxes per year. Slot win will be taxed at 62% and table games at 20%.

“I congratulate Bally’s and its Rhode Island leadership team on its successful launch of this online gaming program, as well as on their efforts to continuously seek ways to keep Rhode Island at the forefront in this competitive New England gaming market,” said House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi, speaking on Tuesday.

Partners and Deals

Back in mid-2023, Rhode Island lawmakers described the deal it brokered with Bally’s as one of the best in the country.

Bally’s was previously the sole licensee for physical casinos in the state, with its Bally’s Twin River and Bally’s Tiverton properties.

This online casino deal extends their monopoly on the small state’s gambling market.

Bally’s entered into partnerships with game developers International Game Technology and Stakelogic for their online casino offering in Rhode Island.

They provide slot games and live dealer casino games, respectively.

The new live streaming tables at Bally’s Twin River will cost some $5 million to build, with 40 to 60 full- time staff set to be hired for the 24/7 operation.

Enhancing State Revenues

Rhode Island online casinos were legalized in June last year, when Governor Daniel McKee signed House Bill 6438 into law.

Aside from the monopoly market for Bally’s, the legislation also had some other unique quirks.

For one thing, only live dealer table games were allowed, and not virtual ones. Live games were also required to be streamed from within the state, hence Bally’s partnership with European live casino developer Stakelogic to build a live studio at its Twin River property.

The bill also put the online casino gambling legal age at 21. That’s compared to 18 for Rhode Island sports betting and physical casinos.

Although Rhode Island, population 1.06 million, is one of the smaller U.S. markets, Bally’s will still be celebrating this launch.

Online casinos offer much higher margins than sports betting, and are much rarer in the U.S.

Rhode Island joins New Jersey, Connecticut, West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Michigan online casinos as regulated options for U.S. customers.

Even with higher taxes and a small market, it still offers Bally’s a unique opportunity.

The operator’s recent expensive outlays saw it report a net loss of $61 million in Q3 2023, despite showing revenue growth in all areas of the business.

“This is a wonderful example of how the legislature and the private sector can work together to develop initiatives that enhance state revenues, which, in turn, benefit our taxpayers,” said Shekarchi.

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