STATE HOUSE – The General Assembly approved a measure today to make it easier to participate in mobile sports gaming in Rhode Island.

The bill (2020-S 2919, 2020-H 8097), which now heads to the governor’s desk, will allow people to register online to use Rhode Island’s mobile app for sports wagering, rather than having to sign up in person at Twin River in Lincoln or Tiverton. The in-person signup was required to boost security when the state launched the app last year, but mobile sports wagering executives say it has hindered signups, particularly at a time when many are wary about visiting public places.

“This is one responsible move we can make to help counter some of the revenue losses the state has experienced during the pandemic. Gaming and the lottery are our state’s third-largest source of revenue, and anything we can safely do to make up for some of the lost revenue helps to support public services,” said Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence), who sponsored the Senate bill.

Said House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston), who sponsored the bill in the House, “Making it more convenient to use our mobile sports wagering app provides an entertainment option that you can participate in from the safety and comfort of your own home. There is sufficient security as well as safeguards in the program to ensure that users are placing their bets from within Rhode Island and complying with our state’s laws, so we can eliminate in-person signups without compromising anything. Hopefully this added convenience will help people enjoy the experience at a time when entertainment options are very limited, and help raise revenue for Rhode Island,”

While online sports betting ground to a halt as virtually all professional sports stopped during the COVID-19 pandemic, several professional leagues have announced plans to resume play later this summer.

President Trump is planning to accept his nomination as Republican presidential candidate for the 2020 race at the White House. He told Fox & Friends it would be the "easiest and least expensive," and added it would be "very beautiful" to speak from the White House. He says the first night of the Republican National Convention will be in Charlotte, North Carolina.        Congress is continuing negotiations on a coronavirus relief bill today and hope to wrap it up by the end of the week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate MInority Leader Chuck Schumer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin [[ mih-NEW-chin ]] and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows say they feel confident about reaching an agreement. They say they've made many compromises but still have differences to work through.       Congressman Roger Marshall is the winner of the Kansas primary for Senate. He won Tuesday over former Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Democrats had hoped a victory by the unpopular Kobach would give them a better chance to win the general election. Primaries were also held in Michigan, Washington, Arizona and Missouri in which progressive Democrat Cori Bush won in the race for the 1st District seat.       Isaias [[ ee-sah-EE-ahs ]] is morphing into a post-tropical cyclone as it weakens over Canada. The storm made landfall Monday in North Carolina as a category one hurricane and traveled north. The storm has killed at least six people in North Carolina, Maryland, New York, Delaware and Pennsylvania from a resulting tornado, falling trees and flooding.       The U.S. trade deficit improved in June. It dropped by more than four-billion-dollars that month to 50-point-seven-billion-dollars. The change is in-line with what analysts forecast for the month.       The Detroit Pistons want Rapper J. Cole to try out. The basketball team tweeted a picture of a jersey with his name on it. Their invitation comes after Master P. said Cole was seriously training for a spot.