Gambling Legislation

Rhode Island Senate approves increased gambling credit bill

Rhode Island Senate approves increased gambling credit bill

The two Bally’s casinos in the state are closer to being able to offer $100K in credit

On Tuesday, the Rhode Island State House approved two bills aimed at doubling the credit limit at Rhode Island’s two casinos. However, some lawmakers are still unclear on what the proposals include.

The House of Representatives passed an amended bill submitted by Rep. Gregory Costantino with a 57-11 vote and later passed an identical bill sponsored by Sen. Frank Ciccone III, which the Senate had already approved by a 55-11 vote.

The confusion among House members focused on a provision allowing Bally’s Corporation to arrange a new debt ratio with the Rhode Island Division of Lottery and the Department of Business Regulation (DBR). Rep. Edith Ajello questioned why the provision was not underlined in blue, which is standard when amendments are added to current law.

House spokesman Larry Berman responded in an email on Wednesday, saying that the section was not underlined because the changes are to public law rather than general law. “The format used in the bill is the same format that has been used many times when authorizing an amendment to a contract between DBR/the Division of Lottery and the facility,” said Berman.

Lawmakers also discussed the possible rise in problem gambling from increasing Bally’s maximum credit line to $100,000 from its previous limit of $50,000. “People do still lose their homes, people do still have an addiction to gambling, and $100,000 would be an awful amount of debt for some people,” said Rep. Patricia Morgan.

Before being approved for an extended credit line, players must undergo a vetting process and provide their income and credit history. Costantino’s bill is scheduled for a Senate vote today.

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