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Super Bowl gave fans taste for sports betting in Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, R.I. The prospect of betting on the home team proved to be an incentive for football fans around the region to try out the new sports-betting offerings at the state's casinos.

Bettors wagered $6,471,599, combined, on a wide array of wagers tied to Super Bowl LIII, which featured the New England Patriots going for their sixth Lombardi Trophy against the Los Angeles Rams, according to figures released today to the R.I. Lottery from sports-book operator William Hill. The sports book paid out $2,350,048 on the wagers, according to William Hill.

Among the notable aspects of the first major legal sports betting event in Rhode Island are: A total of 50,977 wagers were placed on some aspect of the game. 76.6 percent of wagers on the point spread favored the Patriots.

Rhode Island lawmakers approved the Lottery's request to offer sports betting with passage of the Fiscal Year 2019 state budget. Sports betting commenced Nov. 26, 2018 at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, followed at Tiverton Casino Hotel on Dec. 3, 2018.

"The Super Bowl proved to be great advertising for this new gaming amenity and a powerful test of the sports book being run by IGT-William Hill on behalf of the R.I. Lottery," said Paul Grimaldi, chief of information and public relations for the R.I. Department of Revenue. "We expect that many first-time visitors are happy with the service and the results.

"We have a lot of happy customers who we expect will be recirculating their winnings throughout the Rhode Island economy in the days and weeks ahead," said Grimaldi.

The multi-party contract for the sports-book host and operator maintains the budget-mandated revenue allocation formula for sports betting of: State: 51 percent Vendor: 32 percent Casino: 17 percent Questions should be directed to Paul Grimaldi, Chief of Information and Public Relations, by e-mail at paul.grimaldi@revenue.ri.gov or by phone at (401) 574-8766.

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