Rhode Island Poker - Gambling Laws in Rhode Island - Home Poker Games

Rhode Island Poker LawsIs Poker Legal in Rhode Island?

According to § 11-19-1 of the Rhode Island Penal Code “Every person who shall, directly or indirectly, set up, put forth, carry on, promote, or draw, publicly or privately, any lottery, chance, game, or device of any nature … shall be deemed guilty of a felony…” The crime of unlawful gambling is punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000.

Learn which USA poker sites will accept players from the state of Rhode Island


It is important to not that, in Rhode Island, the laws do not specifically mention poker but they are ambiguous enough that they do apply to the game of poker. The issue is that poker is considered a game of chance, and the fact that skill may play a role in having success at poker is immaterial in Rhode Island.

Does Rhode Island Allow Home Poker Games?

So far, we’ve seen enough to know that Rhode Island is not a pro-poker state, but you’re probably wondering if they have an exception for non-profit poker games held in a private residence.Well the short answer is no, they do not have any provisions that allow for any poker games, private or otherwise.

The issue of playing for profit, which is raised commonly in other states, is not a legal issue in Rhode Island, but the fact that poker is a “game of chance” is really the deciding factor that makes all poker games illegal.

Does Rhode Island Have Casinos or Card Rooms?

Rhode Island has been slow to adopt any sort of organized gambling. Traditionally they had a couple of greyhound dog racing tracks, but their gambling industry is just starting to branch out to new areas. With some new authorization, slot machines and some limited table games are finding their way into these greyhound tracks.

As of this point in time, poker has been sadly excluded from becoming legal but that all may change. In even just the last decade, Rhode Island has made leaps and bounds when it comes to adopting new and exciting forms of legal gambling and poker could be next. There are dedicated citizens on both sides of the issue, so only time will tell if poker is in Rhode Island’s future.

Is Online Poker Legal in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island is on the long list of states that do not even mention online gambling. In fact, this state’s penal code does not even condemn betting, or transmitting gambling information electronically (via phone or fax). Because of their silence on the issue, it appears that the state does not have any interest in stopping online poker, but it doesn’t mean that they could not at least try to apply their traditional laws to the digital world.

As a word to the wise, you should probably proceed cautiously and take care to contact your local authorities to verify that online gambling is legal. From the standpoint of the federal government, you haven’t got a thing to worry about. Yes, the United States government restricts online poker but only by leveraging certain payment options. As a rule of thumb, they aren’t prosecuting poker players.


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