Legal Online Poker For Rhode Island Residents

Rhode Island is not exactly a poker-friendly state. Their set of laws is outdated and there are even contradictory paragraphs that rule each other out. Let us see what you are allowed to do and what will get you into trouble as a poker player in Rhode Island.

Is Poker Legal In Rhode Island?


As outlined below, Rhode Island has yet to update most of its gambling laws. It shouldn't come as a surprise that they don't even address the issue of online gambling, let alone playing poker on the Internet.

The federal laws still apply, but none of them outlaws online poker. The dreaded UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act), passed in 2006, doesn't focus on poker players but rather puts a ban on certain financial transactions so, unless you own a bank or operate an online poker venue, you shouldn't worry about it.

Legal Online Poker Sites For Rhode Island Residents

Most online poker sites accept players from Rhode Island. Finding the right one for your needs, however, may seem a daunting task. We have gone through a huge list of casinos and came with some picks.

SportsBetting Poker - Large Poker Bonuses Up To $900 For Rhode Island Residents

When looking for a good place to play poker in Rhode Island the best place to look is online, and the best poker room online is SportsBetting. The reason this legal poker site for Rhode Island residents has been more successful than most other sites is that they realize that poker players are people and people are all different. Every player wants something different out of their poker site and SportsBetting aims to please as many different players as they can.

The first way to play at SportsBetting is through sit and go money games, these tables are filled with different ways to earn money. Guaranteed tournaments are running around the clock, and for players who don’t like big tournaments, money games are a valid and frequently used option. This method is perfect for the player that likes casual relaxed poker while also winning lots of money. The other way is via huge, weekly guaranteed cash tournaments.  These tables are comprised of the best players in the U.S. Every player is a pro and they are going to be playing fast and hard. In order to do well, users must be passionate about poker and wanting a challenge. This room isn’t for the faint of heart but avid players will find it quite enticing.

BetOnline Poker - Fast Poker Payouts For Players Living In Rhode Island

Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the country but it is one of the biggest states for online poker. In the past year, membership from Rhode Island has skyrocketed more than doubling on many of the top sites. BetOnline is the site that has benefited the most from this surge with almost three times as many players from Rhode Island this year alone. It is little surprise though as BetOnline is currently one of the top sites in the world for online poker.

It isn’t hard to be the best of course when guaranteed money tournaments are held every day. Most sites can only afford to have one or two guaranteed tournaments a week but BetOnline has always strived to be better than the rest. BetOnline really ups the ante with its end of the week $10,000 dollar guaranteed tournament. In total BetOnline players have more than $250,000 dollars of guaranteed tournaments to look forward to every week, making every week a good week for poker.

Rhode Island Poker Laws

The state takes a general anti-gambling stance, and the online poker laws in the state reflect that. The Rhode Island Criminal Code says that any person found to be setting up or promoting any lottery or game of chance is committing a felony and may be fined with up to $2,000 and sentenced to up to two years of prison. While other states distinguish between games organized for profit and friendly rounds where someone simply volunteers to host a game, Rhode Island doesn't have such loopholes.

There haven't been any documented cases of authorities coming after poker players engaging in private games. It would also be worth seeing how the argument of poker being a game of skill rather than chance would hold in court – there are some people who still consider that luck plays a major part in the outcome of a game.


Is it Legal to Play Land-Based Poker in Rhode Island?

Unfortunately for the residents of the ocean state, gambling is vehemently outlawed in Rhode Island. The specifics of gambling laws are clearly intended to go after the operators and facilitators of organized gambling but there are no provisions to allow the casual poker player to play a game anywhere in their state legally. While it is true that authorities in the state of Rhode Island likely have more important matters to attend to rather than raiding a private home’s poker night among neighborhood friends, that fact remains that it is technically illegal. There are only two casinos in the state of Rhode Island and neither of them are allowed to offer poker under current state law. Although it does appear that it is possible in the near future that the state may allow one of the local casinos the ability to do so as the state does indeed enjoy revenue from regulated gambling in other areas and is now starting to realize that revenue dropping as locals prefer to drive out of state to enjoy poker elsewhere. Currently, the Twin Rivers Casino is engaging the legal process and considering asking permission to begin operation of a poker room for their guests.

Where To Play Land-Based Poker in Rhode Island?

With some of the most uptight laws in all of New England, locals of the Ocean State are going to have to get in their cars and be thankful that the drive is not long to Connecticut or Massachusetts for a game of live poker. As noted above while discussing legality in Rhode Island, there is one lone casino which has begun the process into bringing live poker to the State. Legislators appear to be open to the idea as losing income has become a reality with a nearby casino being only 12 miles away in Plainville, Massachusetts. The Twin River Casino located in Lincoln may very well succeed in offering Rhode Island residents a shot at legal live poker with real stakes to coax secret players out of their homes but until then, locals will have to explore other nearby options such as the huge casino resorts of Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods located nearby in Connecticut. These particular card rooms are absolutely massive and well worth the trip which keep Rhode Island residents from being too upset at their own gambling laws. Even with the possibility of Twin Rivers offering live poker in the near future, the notoriety which WPT and WSOP circuit establishments may be too big to resist going out of state.

Note: The information presented herein shouldn't count as legal advice. We are not legal representatives, but rather a group of poker players who know about the Internet gambling laws in the United States and wanted to explain some facts that the local media didn't cover that well. If you need further information, please consult your local authorities or an attorney.

Rhode Island poker players are welcomed at Bovada with a 100% to $1,000 deposit bonus when making the first deposit. There is no better way to get acclimated to playing legal poker online in Rhode Island than with a huge deposit bonus like that. Find tons of tables and tournaments when playing online poker at BetOnline Poker