The annual basketball tournament for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), March Madness, kicked off on Sunday as the spots in the bracket were selected. Rhode Island left no stones unturned to ensure that its sports gambling fans got what they were looking for. The two sportsbooks in the state installed self-betting kiosks right before March Madness began. Interestingly, the collegiate sports tournament is the second most popular sports gambling activity after the NFL Super Bowl.
The kiosks are available at Twin River Lincoln and Twin River Tiverton casinos and will help in reducing queues at the sportsbook ticket windows. The Twin River Management Group owns and operates both the casinos. Their new kiosks have been tested by the Rhode Island Department of Revenue before the tournament began to ensure they were functioning according to the state laws.
The Twin River Lincoln Casino will host 17 kiosks for gamblers while the Twin River Tiverton Casino will offer 5. Rhode Island has a competitive advantage over other states in the New England region as it is the first one to allow sports gambling. Both the Twin River casinos started their sportsbooks in late 2018. The state is looking forward to leverage interest in sports betting in the region and is expecting to earn about $11.5 million in sports gambling tax revenue alone. However, some projections suggest that the gain may not be as significant as some people expect.
The state is also planning to expand its gambling operations further. The state lawmakers have paved the path for it to become an early adopter of sports gambling and self-betting kiosks. They are now considering a bill that would allow both mobile and online gambling in Rhode Island. The bill has been passed in the House of Representatives and awaits the signature of Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo to become a law. The governor is pro-sports gambling as she expects the tax revenue to help in her fiscal budget. Therefore, a veto is not likely.