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Rhode Island all set for legal betting this fall; Sports betting could help save Atlantic City

Rhode Island has officially joined the list of states with legal sports betting.

Gov. Gina Raimondo on Friday signed the state’s fiscal year budget, which includes provisions for the state’s two Twin River casinos — located in Lincoln and Tiverton — to offer sports betting through the Rhode Island lottery.

The casinos are targeting the fall to begin offering sports betting, with Oct. 1 a potential opening day.

A New York Times article asks if sports betting can save Atlantic City.

Though this once famous gambling mecca still has far to go to reverse its fortunes, some boosters are already painting a rosy picture.

“All around us we get glimpses of Atlantic City’s future, as new buildings rise and old streets get new life breathed into them,” Gov. Philip D. Murphy, a Democrat, told a lunchtime crowd at a recent gaming conference here. “Not long ago — it was not long ago at all — folks were writing Atlantic City off. It was past its prime. The economy was dead. Now, when people speak of Atlantic City, they speak of renewal, they speak of opportunity.”


The CEO of William Hill U.S. said he thinks sports betting will be a big success for Atlantic City.

Penn State wants colleges in Pennsylvania to be excluded from sports betting in the state for up to two years.

Barron’s proposal is not for a total exclusion of betting on collegiate sports, or even, necessarily, a permanent ban on betting on the local favorites.

“We are asking for the time needed,” he wrote, “… to initiate and strengthen our policies and procedures related to sports wagering in order to educate, train and protect our students, student athletes, coaches and staff members, as well as preserving the integrity of our colleges and universities and their associated athletic programs.”

Barron suggested Pennsylvania regulators adopt New Jersey’s model, which has prohibited betting on any collegiate games in New Jersey or elsewhere that involve a New Jersey school.

That, he said he believes, is “the right balance of allowing for sports wagering on collegiate sporting events and… protecting the integrity of collegiate sport events and the welfare of students-athletes domiciled in that state.”

CNBC founder Tom Rogers said he believes sports broadcasters might update their tickers to include relevant gambling information.

“At CNBC, we started putting a lot of data on the screen and at first people were horrified. But it keeps them there because you’re doing something to further pull that person in, and they remain intently focused on the screen (even during the commercials),” he said. “What happened after that was sports began following the use of data (such as scores) on screens. Instead of being viewed as distracting at all, it just became expected. I think people over time get comfortable with and expect changes. Whether or not (sports gambling) is harnessed by the TV industry will be a key issue with how they incorporate that data on the screen. If that new source of revenue is going to be harnessed, the TV industry is going to have to take that head on and really figure out how they’re drawing a connection to the sports viewer.”

A Wall Street Journal article claims “your neighborhood sports bookie isn’t going anywhere.” (paywall)

Among the many people with a vested interest in the legalization of sports betting in the U.S. is a 35-year-old man living in the Washington, D.C., area. An internet marketer by day, he bets around $15,000 on a typical night through an offshore website called BetUS, which masks its identity on his credit card statements to avoid legal scrutiny. He receives his winnings through a reloadable MasterCard prepaid card.

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Each Friday, we’ll comb through as many articles, tweets and podcasts as we can find related to the world of sports betting and daily fantasy sports, and publish the good stuff here. 

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