Now taking an online gamble. The target 12 investigators wanted to know the chances of sports betting making a jump from two locations in Rhode Island… To anywhere including your living room we found out online sports betting from your phone or computer is expected to be up for debate at the statehouse in a matter of months. But we’re kicking off the discussion right no target 12 investigator Walt Buteau has the details. According to a couple of predictions, the amount bet on sports in Rhode Island would skyrocket, and the revenue for the state could double if sports betting is allowed online.

When the first sports betting crowd gathered in October at twin river senate president Dominick Ruggerio was at the front of the line, placing a bet for charity. And he tells us he will be at the front of the statehouse pitching a measure early next session, that would allow online casinos, free slots, online sports betting. Walt: what’s your gut on the possibility of this getting on the books next year? Ruggerio: i’m optimistic. I think we have sports betting now. I don’t see why we can’t have mobile sports betting.

House speaker Nicholas Mattiello tells us “If a bill on this issue is introduced, it will get a fair public hearing.” Ruggerio’s educated guess is the state’s sports betting revenue would double to about 50 million dollars a year, if gamblers could wager online, anywhere in the state. Oxford economics offers a potentially bigger take for Rhode Island in a report released in May of last year. In a high tax rate scenario…The study predicts the handle as in the amount bet on sports would reach more than 1 point 1 billion dollars a year….With the state collecting just under 80 million in revenue. (stand up) but critics are concerned about another number according to the national council on problem gambling… 18,000 problem gamblers live in Rhode Island. ..

Professor pat kelly, providence college 2:50 I’ve studied problem gambling issues for the last ten years, providence college mathematics professor pat kelly does not like the odds of making it easier to bet on sports or anything, especially for anyone who can’t stop until they’re out of cash. Professor pat kelly, providence college in virtually every case that I’ve studied, it’s a tragedy. So I’m in the tragedy prevention business. 3:00 senator Ruggerio tells us a look at the social impact will be part of the process. But he argues sports betting is already happening–illegally. Ruggerio: we can use the revenue more than whoever else is getting the revenue.

Walt: the bookies? Ruggerio: the bookies, okay. 00:02:45;14 professors pat kelly, providence college if somebody can end up gambling on their phone I think that’s a recipe for big-time problems. 3:40 in sports betting, Rhode island’s take is 51 percent of the losses. On-line sports betting would not require a statewide referendum to be approved. With the target 12 investigators, Walt Buteau, gamble.

Rhode island’s Senate president tells the target 12 investigators that he is “Optimistic” on-line sports betting will be legalized next year. As we told you at 5, that could bring in millions more in revenue to the state. . .

But we wanted to know if programs that help problem gamblers will get a financial boost as well. Target 12 investigator Walt Buteau has those details. The state currently contributes a fraction of one percent of annual gaming reventue to help problem gamblers. And one estimate puts the number of Rhode Islanders with gambling problems at about 18-thousand.

This is the crowd from the first day sports betting was allowed in Rhode Island… And the demand has been steady—with one eyewitness telling us the line to wager on sports at twin river was an hour and half long on sunday, leading up to the one o’clock nfl games. Providence college professor Patrick Kelly, who’s studied the social impact of gambling for a decade, believes making sports betting easier and more accessible will be a recipe for big-time problems. One issue that sticks out for him is how little the state spends on prevention has received over $300 million in the last year from its casinos, and has invested a total of about $150k in problem gambling prevention and treatment programs.

And that’s too low. A national study by Oxford economics estimates Rhode island could collect 80 million in revenue if online sports betting is in play. Senate president Dominick Ruggerio who is working on an on0line gaming legalization measure he hopes to introduce early next year says he would consider contributing more to programs that help problem gamblers, if necessary are you worried about the social impact. I’m always concerned about the social aspect.

Not overly worried because like i said i think you have that going on without the state invovlement. If passed, rhode island would be one of only a few states that allow on-line sports betting….And the first to allow it in new england. With the target 12 investigators, walt buteau, ewn.