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Should R.I. loosen up its sports betting rules? Industry analysts say yes.

Patrons visit the sports betting area of Twin River Casino in Lincoln, RI.AP Photo/Steven Senne

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Happy Tuesday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and I’m mentally preparing myself for all the dribbling out the shot clock and missed free throws that come with college basketball season. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

Rhode Island’s sportsbooks had their most profitable month ever in September, but industry analysts say the state could have made even more money if officials walked back a requirement that individuals activate the mobile betting app in person at Twin River’s two casinos.


The state lottery reports that 13,542 individuals had registered for mobile betting as of Oct. 25, but fewer than 6,200 had activated their apps to begin placing wagers.

While Rhode Island is not the only state that requires in-person activation for mobile betting – Nevada and Iowa do as well – New Hampshire is not expected to have the same policy when it launches sports betting in the coming months.

“The way I always think about is this: How many people wouldn’t use Amazon if they had to go to Kohl’s to create an account,” Chris Grove, a managing director of sports betting and emerging verticals for California-based Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, said in an email.

The reasons for requiring in-person activation are noble. The state wants to ensure only individuals above the age of 18 are betting on sports, but Grove said the net result is that “more sports betting activity remains in the illegal market.”

Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, who was the state’s leading advocate for legalizing sports betting, said he isn’t ready to propose changing the in-person activation requirement.


The state made more than $2.5 million from bettors in September, in part because the New England Patriots didn’t cover the spread on two games during the month. We’re still waiting for October figures, but the Patriots’ clean sweep against the spread was likely a headache for the sportsbooks.


Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you’ve got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

• My latest: We still don’t know every detail about the state’s takeover of Providence schools, but this agreement between Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green and Mayor Jorge Elorza offers new details about funding and how union contracts will be negotiated.

• The board that oversees the MBTA is embracing the transformation of the commuter rail system, which could mean faster trips between Providence and Boston, Matt Stout reports.

US District Judge John J. McConnell Jr. ruled Monday that Nathan Carmanmade improper and faulty repairs” to his boat that contributed to its sinking three years ago during a fishing trip with his mother, who disappeared at sea and is presumed dead. The Globe’s Shelley Murphy and Travis Andersen have the story.

• My colleague Andy Rosen looks at why Massachusetts casinos keep missing their revenue targets.

J.D. Martinez is coming back to the Red Sox, but that raises a big question about what will happen with Mookie Betts.



Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

• It’s a pretty light Election Day in Rhode Island, as Democrat Pedro Espinal is widely expected to cruise to victory in the special City Council election in Providence’s Ward 10. There are also local bond questions in East Greenwich and North Kingstown, but the most interesting races today appear to be in Fall River and New Bedford.

Governor Gina Raimondo will be in Newport today to discuss the findings from the Division of Public Utilities & Carriers’ report on last January’s gas outages on Aquidneck Island.

• This sounds fun: Khipra Nichols, a former lead designer at Hasbro, will discuss his work tonight at the Stages of Freedom office at 10 Westminster Street in Providence.

• Tonight at Saints Rose & Clement Catholic Church in Warwick: The Raise the Bar on Resident Care coalition will host a community forum with House Majority Leader Joseph Shekarchi to discuss some of the challenges facing Rhode Island’s nursing homes.

• Enjoying Rhode Map so far? Do us a favor and encourage your friends to sign up here.

Thanks for reading. Send comments and suggestions to dan.mcgowan@globe.com, or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you tomorrow.


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