Rhode Island Online Poker Law
Tiny Rhode Island has two casinos with table games, fewer than 50 poker tables, and a population of little more than 1 million. As an online-poker market, Rhode Island is one of the smallest fish in the barrel.
As of late 2013, there was no pending online poker or online gambling legislation, nor any serious talks concerning online poker in Rhode Island. Nonetheless, Rhode Island would make a perfect addition to any interstate poker network.
For a state like Delaware, which went live with online gambling and poker in late 2013, Rhode Island would be the perfect state to have in an interstate online poker network. Consider New Jersey and Nevada to also try to get access to Rhode Island’s gamblers and poker players.
In fact, in many ways, online poker players in states like Rhode Island have an advantage over states with an established, multi-faceted casino industry. A few years down the line there will be a handful of states that will have legal online poker. Rhode Island lawmakers will have the option to choose which states they would like to contract with, or maybe all of them. There’s little doubt that Rhode Island’s online poker players will have access to some of the biggest sites that will rise from the rubble of the decimated online poker industry in the United States.
Hopefully, Rhode Island will be in the massive interstate poker network that nearly all online poker players are wishing for.
When Will I Be Able to Play Online Poker in Rhode Island?
With only two casinos, it sure seems the only way online poker players in Rhode Island will gain access to legitimate, consumer-friendly online poker sites is if the state contracts with other states with serious casino revenue. Reports say Delaware started talks with Rhode Island officials in 2012, but nothing came of them. You could be sure New Jersey is also putting effort to gain access to Rhode Island’s online-poker-playing residents. Every little drop in the bucket helps, right?
Speaking as an optimist, look for talks to heat up between Rhode Island, Delaware, and New Jersey in 2014. Access may be granted even as early as 2014, but early 2015 is more likely.