Rhode Island Lottery is also moving ahead with mobile betting for two existing products, including Keno and scratch tickets

“I do not think it will cannibalize the existing sales of tickets and Keno,” Lottery Executive Director Gerald Aubin told NBC 10 in a statement.

Rhode Island is trying to get more money from its gamblers by allowing them to bet by phone. (WJAR)

The Ocean State is trying to get more money from its gamblers by allowing them to bet by phone.

The effort to allow mobile sports betting has received a lot of publicity and has been approved by the legislature.

The Rhode Island Lottery is also moving ahead with mobile betting for two existing products, including Keno and scratch tickets.

Customers who spoke with NBC 10 News think it’s a great idea.

“Great! I’m in,” Darlene Santilli said on Friday.

Tony Barboza, of Lincoln, shared similar sentiments.

“I think it’s a good idea,” he said. “Why not? You’re going to find a way to gamble no matter what.”

Keno from your couch? RI hopes to make gambling even easier Rhode Island is trying to get more money from its gamblers by allowing them to bet by phone. (WJAR)

The state is counting on an extra $900,956 in the first six months of the mobile Keno and scratch betting, starting in February 2020.

Some variety stores have concerns about whether it will cut into their businessinstan

“I do not think it will cannibalize the existing sales of tickets and Keno,” Lottery Director Gerald Aubin told NBC 10 in a statement.

But there is a legal question. While it is not a new form of gambling, which would require a statewide vote, it could be a violation of the Federal Wire Act, which prohibits betting across state lines.

Bettors would have to be in the state to play, but the internet is the tool for placing the bet -- and that doesn’t always respect state boundaries.

“If you make a bet on your smartphone, a Keno bet, and it’s supposed to go to lottery headquarters in the state or somewhere else in the state, but it gets routed through the internet to Massachusetts, Connecticut, California – wherever -- the new interpretation of the federal law is that may be illegal under the Federal Wire Act,” Attorney Joe Larisa said.

That’s the basis of a legal challenge to online betting in New Hampshire.

There’s a legal challenge to sports betting in Rhode Island. The Lottery Commission believes it is within the law regarding mobile Keno and scratch bets.

https://turnto10.com/politics/keno-from-your-couch-ri-hopes-to-make-gambling-even-easier