Take a look at our list of the best Rhode Island online casino sites below. You can also find the best Rhode Island sportsbooks here.
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Gambling online has become a global pastime and a way for people worldwide to share their passion for sports and online games. However, there’s always been controversy surrounding gambling. The USA especially has clashing opinions and controversial laws on it. While there’ve been some changes since the laws were first implemented, some states still consider online gambling to be a gray area.
We’ll look at the state laws of Rhode Island related to gambling and how US federal laws have influenced them. We’ll also look at the different aspects of online casinos and what makes them trustworthy. We’ll be looking at the casino licensing and security, compatibility, banking, customer support, game selection, and bonuses.
Federal Laws and Their Impact
The US has three federal laws that have influenced state laws when it comes to gambling. These laws regulated or outright banned gambling and their effects can still be seen today.
The first law is the Federal Interstate Wire Act. This law was passed in 1961 and has since been the subject of much controversy. The Wire Act bans interstate sports betting but doesn’t specifically mention other forms of gambling. This has led to many court cases on whether the law applies to all gambling or just sports betting. To date, this question has not been resolved by the Supreme Court.
The second law implemented is PASPA, which was passed in 1992. PASPA, officially known as The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, banned sports betting in every state. Until the law was declared unconstitutional in 2018, all sports betting was banned in the US. Still to this day, a handful of states haven’t warmed to the idea of online gambling.
Then there’s the third law, UIEGA, which came into force in 2006. The UIGEA is officially known as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. While this law doesn’t declare online gambling illegal, it does ban financial transactions with online gambling service providers. However, the law targets the online gambling service providers, not the clients. Though many offshore casinos stopped accepting US players, there are some exceptions. Depending on the state laws, there are generally no consequences for US players to use offshore casino sites.
Rhode Island State Laws on Online Gambling
Rhode Island has a long history of gambling in the state and has maintained a fairly relaxed attitude towards this activity. A state lottery was first used in the 1700s to generate tax revenue. It was eventually banned in 1896, along with all other forms of gambling. It wasn’t until 1934 that Pari-Mutuel betting was legalized again, with a racetrack opening in 1947 and the state lottery reinstated in 1974.
From then until 2016, the state has made steps to legalize other forms of gambling, like racinos and two land-based casinos. When they declared PASPA unconstitutional in 2018, Rhode Island responded by legalizing sports betting in their state. The Department of Business Regulation licenses and regulates all forms of gambling.
While off-track betting on racing is legal online when using the land-based casinos’ website, there is still a bit of a controversy surrounding other forms of online gambling. In 2016, Fantasy sports were legalized in Rhode Island, but online casinos still weren’t allowed to be established within the state. This means it’s illegal for any online casino to have its servers within Rhode Island.
With that in mind, Rhode Island doesn’t outlaw real money online casinos and gambling as a whole, they are merely prevented from being established in the state. This means Rhode Island players still have access to offshore casinos and are free to play at them without fear of prosecution. But how do you know which online casino is safe to play at?
Factors We Looked For in the Best Rhode Island Online Casino
We understand that it could be difficult to choose a new online casino when there are so many great options available, but there are also a few out there with unfair terms and conditions to steer clear of. For this reason, we’ve put together the list of factors we looked at to find the best Rhode Island online casinos.
We looked at the casinos’ licensing and security measures, software platforms, their payment methods available, customer support, games and promotions, welcome bonus, and transparency. But first, we’ll give a brief overview of each factor and why it’s crucial.
Licensing and Security
A licensed casino is a regulated casino, meaning an independent authority monitors its website. This independent gambling authority checks to ensure the casino is fair and follows all applicable legislation and operating regulations. If a casino steps out of line, it may lose its license.
With no online casinos licensed by the Ocean State, US players have to look for action on gambling sites from overseas. These are often referred to as offshore casinos, which has a bit of a negative connotation to it, but truth be told – offshore casinos are regulated and just as safe as any US-licensed casino.
Authorities like the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), Curacao, Gibraltar, Panama, and Costa Rica have been licensing and regulating online gambling sites for many years already – some even decades.
Another form of security the online casino can have is testing their gaming platform and games for fairness by a testing agency like eCOGRA. They should also use the latest SSL (128-bit or 256-bit) encryption to protect player data and have a KYC (Know Your Client) policy in place.
Compatible Gaming Platform
With most online casinos being solely web-based, they need to use the latest HTML5 technology and have a well-designed website on all devices. This means the website should run smoothly and games load fast, whether you’re on mobile, tablet, or desktop. It should also be compatible with iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows devices. We look at the casinos’ websites to ensure they have a user-friendly interface and gaming platforms for Rhode Island players.
While some online casinos also offer an app on the App Store or the Google Play Store, many instead offer quick access software. You can download this software to your smartphone, tablet, or computer to access the casino faster, without going through your browser. Playing with the best mobile casinos will allow you to get the best experience whilst playing on the go.
The UIGEA didn’t just influence casinos but also had an impact on banks and card companies. This means there are some banks and card companies in the US that don’t allow transactions with online casinos. This is why it’s important to look at what banking methods are offered. When it comes to this, PayPal is one of the best methods offered, as it serves as a middleman between the card company and the online casino.
Many online casinos offer other banking methods like Neteller, Skrill, EcoPayz, Paysafe, online banking, and cryptocurrencies, with Bitcoin casinos being a particular favourite. We want to ensure that you sign up with an online casino that has several options to choose from for your deposits and withdrawals.
We also look at whether the casino charges any transaction fees and their payout speeds. Bank cards usually take 3-5 days to conclude the transfer, E-wallets normally within 48 hours, direct bank transfers can take 5-7 days, with cryptos usually happening within 24 hours. All deposits are pretty much instant regardless of payment method.
Customer Support & Tools
We recommend online casinos that offer 24/7 support via live chat or a toll-free phone number. The more ways you have to contact customer service, the better. You’ll always be able to get in touch via email, but the response time will vary from operator to operator,
We look at the effectiveness of the support, as well as how helpful they are and whether they offer their services in other languages.
An extensive FAQ section and How-To guides are also appreciated, as it makes the online gaming experience a bit easier to navigate. It allows you to find basic information without the need for involving customer service and it shows that the casino cares about its players.
While it’s essential to have good communication channels with the support team, that’s not all we look at. We also look at the responsible gaming tools that the casinos offer to support players. You should be able to set limits for deposits, time spent on site, regular reality checks, and the possibility to self-exclude for a longer period of time if you feel like you need a break.
One of the best aspects of online casinos is that they can offer hundreds, even thousands, of games. We look not only at how many games are offered but also at the types of games. We expect to see a great selection of slots, table games, specialty games, live casino games, and other products like a sportsbook or poker rooms.
Nowadays there are so many different types of slots to play online. Anything from progressive jackpots, to Megaways, bonus-buy, and everything else in between. Looking for slots with just three reels and a single payline or do you prefer a 6-reel slot with more than 100,000 ways to win? In the best online casinos available to players from Rhode Island, the choice is yours.
Table games are of course incredibly popular in online casinos. All the classics such as roulette, blackjack, and baccarat should be at your fingertips, both outside and inside the live casino. Yes. All of the best online casinos have a live casino, which is basically as close as you can get to the real thing without leaving your house.
The live casino is where you’ll find modern versions of the classics, different styles of poker, dice games, and super-exciting game shows with a live host.
Bonuses and Promotions
Since casino bonuses are the incentives for players to play at one casino over another, we’re always on the lookout for the best ones. A bonus should be alluring and help new and experienced players to test the gaming platform or new games without too much risk.
Welcome bonuses are generally a first deposit bonus or a no deposit bonus. First deposit bonuses range anywhere from a match deposit between 100% and 500% and they always have a minimum required deposit. They also have wagering requirements, generally between 1x and 50x, and an expiry period. The same can be said for no deposit offers, although it doesn’t require any money from you, these offers normally range from $5 to $25 and may even include free spins.
We recommend playing at online casinos that offer other bonuses throughout the year as well, like a cashback program and a VIP/loyalty program. This also means having access to daily bonuses or weekly and monthly bonuses and tournaments. We would recommend playing at a VIP casino if you consider yourself to be a high roller player.
Which is better to play at in Rhode Island: online casinos or land-based casinos?
Since Rhode Island only has two land-based casinos in the entire state, it’s more convenient to play at online casinos. Added to that, online casinos offer more game selection and a variety of bonuses. They also have better payout percentages.
Is it legal to play at online casinos in Rhode Island?
While it isn’t legal for an online casino to have its servers inside the state, there are no consequences for players who gamble online. There’s no law explicitly stating that it’s illegal.
Can I win actual cash at offshore online casinos in Rhode Island?
You can definitely win real money at online casinos in Rhode Island. They all use real money.
How to Start Playing at the Best Rhode Online Casinos
It’s easy to get started at any of our recommended online casinos. You simply need to create an account with some personal information, which is heavily protected under lock and key, and then choose a convenient payment method to make your first deposit.
Claim the welcome bonus or the no deposit sign-up bonus and you’re good to go. Head over to the lobby page to find all games available and have fun. Remember, gambling is not for everyone. A simple rule of thumb – when the fun stops, stop.