The smallest state in the US in terms of land area, Rhode Island is also known as the Ocean State due to the numerous large bays and inlets, which make up approximately 14% of its total area. In spite of its name, Rhode Island is, in fact, not an island at all, and is bordered by Connecticut and Massachusetts – some of the US’s most affluent states. Despite some beautiful landscapes – and seascapes – Rhode Island doesn’t boast a massively popular tourist industry, though it is home to some very prestigious universities. For whatever reason, the state is a popular feature in some American movies, sitcoms and even cartoons. Due to its proximity to the ocean, sailing, fishing and other maritime activities are very popular in this little state, but what about other forms of entertainment, like online gambling? Are locals permitted to play on social casino apps and Facebook Casinos? What about fun play casinos, which feature some free fun online slots? Let’s take a look at some of the legislations in place.
Rhode Island Online Gambling Licences
It’s a well-known fact that different states across the US have different laws regarding both online and land-based gambling. In some places, the legislations are quite explicit and outright: either prohibiting or allowing for this or that form of gambling. Rhode Island’s neighbouring states have quite a number of gambling options, including horse racing and huge casino resorts. Rhode Island was sadly forced to close its horse racing tracks down, but residents can still bet on greyhound racing at Lincoln Park.
Rhode Island was one of the first states in the country to pioneer live lottery draws, with weekly televised draws dating as far back as 1975. For this reason, the lottery is still massively popular in this state, and it now includes games like keno, as well as inter-state games and electronic terminals. Charity gambling is also allowed, but only includes games like bingo and raffles. For seniors in social games, bingo is a legal option, as long as no one profits from running the games, and as long as the weekly prizes total no more than $400.
Casino games were absent from Rhode Island until 2010, when a law was passed that would allow for table games at casinos. There is only one state-owned casino in Rhode Island, and it is very interesting to note that poker, in all its forms, is absent – be it online, in live games or even in charity games. For many residents of the state, it’s a far easier option to visit one of the neighbouring states to enjoy the host of gambling options available.
As with almost every state, there are no laws explicitly prohibiting locals from gambling online – but it is prohibited to run an online gaming organisation. While gambling options are few and far between for those who live in Rhode Island, not all is lost.
Online Gaming Options in Rhode Island
As is the case with most states across the country, online gambling is not explicitly forbidden, as long as one is not illegally operating their own online gambling organisation for private profit. Now, for most people, this loophole will see them still registering and playing at a number of international online casinos that accept US dollar as a currency. However, with Rhode Island being so small, and so close to neighbouring states that have looser laws regarding gambling in general, it’s understood that the broad-based laws around all forms of gambling apply to online casinos as well. Therefore, many people prefer to register at fun play casinos and free play online casinos, where real money isn’t an option, but free fun online slots are still quite popular.
It is certainly interesting to note how many states across the US have something against poker, and Rhode Island is no exception. Even on charitable gambling platforms, poker is explicitly forbidden.
The same applies to live poker and online poker games. It is interesting to note that Rhode Island is not the only state to share this view regarding poker, and nowhere is it explicitly stated exactly why this game in particular receives such a bad rap. Surely the same rules that apply to poker would apply to other table games as well, such as blackjack or baccarat.
Lottery and Bingo
As already mentioned, charitable gambling laws allow for lottery games, bingo and raffle games, as well as keno. With such a low maximum weekly limit to be won, these games are still mostly for entertainment than for any kind of big win. When we talk about charitable gambling, the proceeds usually go to organisations centred around the community, be it health programmes or education.
It should come as no surprise that the laws around online gambling in the state of Rhode Island are fuzzy at best. Despite the existence of a state-owned casino, the more liberal neighbouring states are a much easier option for those residents of Rhode Island who wish to get their game on. It is a particularly interesting fact that poker – a worldwide favourite – is outright forbidden across any and all platforms. For those who enjoy games and gaming, the safest options are those charitable ones, or simply signing up at free play online casino, with no legal implications. It is also interesting to note that, while residents of other states make use of the loophole regarding playing at online casinos not being forbidden while actually owning the organisation is, people in Rhode Island prefer to play it completely safe.