Bally’s Wants to Retain High Rollers in RI with New $100k Gambling Credit Bill

Updated On May 21, 2024 by Ella McDonald

Bally'sHaving received support from Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, a bill that would double the gambling-on-credit limit at the two state casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton run by Bally’s in Rhode Island to $100,000 has begun to spark a lot of controversy.

The necessity of the change and Bally’s ability to explore the off-limits gambling habits of online players and patrons of tribal casinos across state borders are some of the most commonly raised questions.

Last week, Bally’s representative Elizabeth Suever explained to the Senate Committee on Special Legislation that the Bill 3040 introduced on May 2 would not be used to expand credit lines to gamblers “who would not be able to pay it back”.

State-sponsored gambling like the one taking place at Bally’s-run two state casinos represents the third largest source of revenue for the state.

This year alone, $428.8 million in gambling revenue is expected to head to the state treasury, hence, the importance of the fast-moving bill introduced more than two months after the deadline set by the Senate for the introduction of new bills.

Bally’s Wants to Stay “On Par with Competition”

No representative from the Rhode Island Lottery or the Council on Problem Gambling showed up during last week’s hearing to comment on the bill that, as explained by a spokesperson for Ruggerio, was

introduced at the request of Bally’s, to keep them on par with competition from casinos in Massachusetts

A hearing will take place on Thursday on the matching House version of the bill.

The latter is also looking to allow the Department of Business Regulation to change the terms in the latest version of the state’s current agreement with Bally’s without requiring legislative approval.

What are the arguments for a $100,000 credit limit?

Suever explained they wish to do everything in their power to be “regionally competitive” with casinos in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

She further argues that while Bally’s currently runs high limit rooms, players there have complained they cannot get the same level of credit in Rhode Island as they would obtain in Massachusetts, a state that does not have a credit limit.

At the same time, casinos in Connecticut are tribal, which means they get to decide how much credit they can issue to players.

She called the credit limit extension from $50,000 to $100,000 to be “an amenity” for their players seeking to play “very high limits because they don’t want to be carrying that amount of cash on their person as they’re coming and going from the casino.”

Suever made sure to explain that the new limit would only apply to a “very, very limited” number of in-person players and would not be valid for online gamblers.

Also, as explained by Bally’s spokeswoman Patti Doyle, some other features of the proposed bill would alter the two-decade deal for Rhode Island’s lottery and casino operations.

This would be done by enabling negotiations between Rhode Island Lottery and Bally’s, possibly enabling “addbacks for development projects” and not simply limiting the terms to acquisitions.

The new bill could also change the way promotional points, which are used as incentives for players to come back for more paytime, are determined.

Ella McDonald Author

Worldwide gambling related news stories are what you will find being written by Ella, she has a keen interest however in UK and European based new stories relating to all gaming environments, and she is always prepared to ask the difficult questions many other journalists avoiding asking those in power.

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