The Rhode Island Lottery, which oversees all gambling in the state, has launched some online games. The series of games available now are accessible to players 21 and over who are physically located in Rhode Island.
In addition to the state’s two casinos being closed, lottery officials said people are not buying the normal amount of lottery tickets and scratch-off tickets. That end of the business has really suffered through the shelter-in-place orders, a lottery official said on Wednesday.
New ways to play favorite games were announced on the Rhode Island Lottery social media pages. Keno, a long-time favorite game, is now available on phones and laptops and most handheld devices, a press release said.
Scratch-off tickets called “Elnstants” are now available online, too, said a lottery official. According to the Rhode Island Lottery website, there are now 12 instant games being offered to anyone with an account and is located in Rhode Island.
The prizes are not bad either, as there is up to $200,000 that can be won on scratch-off tickets, all from the comfort of one’s own home.
Online Keno Players Can Win Up To $100,000 In Prize Money
Rhode Island Lottery Director Gerald Aubin said, “It’s a great day for Rhode Island, by giving players other options so that they can stay safe while playing.” Aubin said:
“It’s about being extremely convenient and worry-free for our players, and we will be able to generate much-needed funds for our state.”
If a player wins a prize of $600 or less, the winnings will be automatically deposited into the player’s account. Before the stay-at-home orders, players could go to a casino and register for an online account.
They can now register online for an online account, lottery officials said, and it won’t take more than 10 minutes to set up an account, as it’s made very easy.
The state has had a lottery since 1974, and the lottery has directed its taxable profits to go into a general state fund. That fund is used for the Rhode Island School system, certain food programs, public safety, and health care programs.
The lottery has given $7.4 billion to that general fund since 1974. Since the lockdown, the profits from gambling have dwindled substantially, and state officials are very alarmed at the lost revenue.
Governor Ordered All Non-Essential Businesses Closed
The Democratic Governor of Rhode Island, Gina Raimondo, issued a state-wide shutdown of non-essential businesses, including casinos to be closed. That shutdown was issued on March 17, and the lottery and other gaming in The Ocean State have taken a huge hit.
With March only being up and running for half of the month, the losses started to increase. The total profits for gaming in March was $18.6 million. In December, well before the mandatory shutdown, the gaming profits were $22.08 million.
Rhode Island’s two casinos, Twin River Casino and Tiverton, are taxed between 69% to 74%, which depends on the amount of the winnings. Table games are taxed between 17 and 19%.
State lottery officials said on Wednesday that the losses from the two casinos during the shutdown are going to have a huge effect on state programs, including Head Start. The losses are going to cause very difficult consequences for state programs.
Lottery officials believe that the profits from these newly launched online casino games will be a huge help in generating lost funds. It’s a chance to gain some profits for much-needed programs.