Financial incentives for RI host communities involved in sports betting unclear

(WJAR)

Casinos in Rhode Island have to get approval from two bodies of voters.

First, statewide voters must give it the OK. Then, voters in the host community have to also affirm their approval.

Currently, the host communities have financial incentives to house the casinos.

Both Lincoln and Tiverton get a minimum of $3 million a year from the gambling centers, including 1.45 percent of the slot machine take, and 1 percent of the table game receipts.

But now there’s sports betting. A rate has not been set for proceeds of those bets to be diverted to host communities.

Anthony DeSisto, who is an attorney for both towns, said he is researching the issue. He told NBC 10 News that the issue has not been raised at the Rhode Island State House.

“I think it’s all so preliminary,” DeSisto said Tuesday. “To my knowledge, there’s been no negotiations.”

DeSisto briefed the Tiverton Town Council on its options during a closed-door meeting.

“This is an informational session to discuss litigation options for the town to go over the litigation and issues that would be surrounding this new form of gambling if it were to be introduced at the Tiverton Twin River Tiverton site,” DeSisto said.

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