GOP activist sues Rhode Island over launch of sports betting

May 02, 2019 - 10:51 am

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Republican activist is suing over sports betting in Rhode Island, saying the state should have sought voter approval before legalizing and launching it.

Daniel Harrop said Thursday sports betting should stop pending a statewide referendum. Former Rhode Island Republican Party Chairman Brandon Bell and attorney Joe Larisa filed a lawsuit against state lottery officials Wednesday on behalf of Harrop, a member of the party's central committee.

Democratic Senate President Dominick Ruggerio has said legal advice says voters approved sports betting when they approved casino gambling. He's confident Rhode Island would prevail in any challenge.

Harrop says he's not opposed to gambling, but believes the state must follow its constitution and ask voters whether gambling should expand.

Rhode Island is the only New England state currently offering sports betting.

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