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BC-US--Sports Betting-Rhode Island,2nd Ld-Writethru, US

May 2, 2019
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. Republican attorneys filed a lawsuit Wednesday on Harrop’s behalf. Democratic Senate President Dominick Ruggerio has said the legal advice he has seen says voters approved sports betting when they approved casino gambling.

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 the state constitution requires voter approval for any expansion of gambling.

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