Bally’s fights back

Bally’s busy week of New York casino bidding, brand divestment drama, and a massive 2022 net loss for its interactive arm continues, albeit with a potentially positive outcome.

plans to expand its gaming footprint in Rhode Island

The Providence-based gaming giant plans to expand its gaming footprint in Rhode Island by implementing online casino gaming.

According to GoLocalProv, Bally’s stated on Wednesday it would pursue both legislative and executive branch approval this General Assembly session to get legal iGaming across the line. The New England media outlet revealed the bill would take effect on January 1, 2024, “subject to the finalization of relevant regulations.”

Bally’s claims legalizing the vertical will boost state revenue and raise the profile of Rhode Island casinos in the robust New England gaming market, with a percentage of all online slots and table games revenue going to state coffers.

State in control

Bally’s latest business-boosting gambit emerged at a Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce function. The firm’s proposed bill would give the Rhode Island Division of Lotteries (RILOT) the authority to give the green light to online slots and table games hosted by Bally’s in its home-state properties, which include Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino Resort, and Bally’s Tiverton Casino & Hotel.

Bally’s Corporation vice president of government relations Elizabeth Suever stated that her company’s intent was to base its online casino drive on the legislation that got online sports betting in Rhode Island up and running.

give the State “complete regulatory control and the ability to ensure the integrity of the program”

Suever said this approach would effectively give the State “complete regulatory control and the ability to ensure the integrity of the program.”

In addition, the state would have the power to set terms and conditions for online slots and table gaming, which includes establishing rules for responsible gambling and system integrity.

Online and retail can work together

Bally’s was quick to staunch the fears that introducing online casino gaming would cannibalize brick-and-mortar casino revenue flowing into state coffers. The company cited a recent iGaming study by Spectrum Gaming claiming that “little to no switching of play from retail casinos to online casino gaming is expected.”

The online casino expansion plan follows a frenzied seven days for Bally’s. On Sunday, news emerged it had joined the competition for a downstate New York casino license. A day later, an investment deck revealed Bally’s was looking to sell its DFS brand Monkey Knife Fight, after its North American online arm posted a 2022 net loss of $426m.

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