1/18/10 – Make a note of Rhode Island bill S.2028, because you may be hearing more about it as the new year progresses. It's a proposal now before the Senate Constitutional & Regulatory Issues Committee that suggests it's time to lift the federal sportsbetting ban in order to boost state tax revenues, and follows similar moves in Delaware and New Jersey.
Authored by state Senators Tassoni, McBurney and Doyle, and introduced January 13th, the bill urges the United States Congress to lift the national ban on sports wagering imposed by the 1993 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act which prohibits states and local governments from authorising sports wagering, confining it solely to the state of Nevada.
The Senators point out that Nevada pulled in $81.5 million on 2009 Super Bowl wagering alone – an estimated mere 1 percent of nationwide sportsbetting potential – and attracted 287 000 visitors to Las Vegas.
The politicians also quote National Gambling Impact Study Commission statistics indicating that illegal sports wagering in the United States generates revenues around $380 billion every year.
The Senators argue that the federal sports wagering ban is not effective in curbing illegal sport gambling, and that lifting the ban on sports wagering would allow state gaming enforcement agencies to more properly regulate and police this activity, at the same time significantly benefiting the State of Rhode Island by generating additional tax income and by enhancing tourism.