Judge: Sports betting suit can move on due to Patriots bet

December 5, 2019 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island judge is allowing a lawsuit about the state legalizing and launching sports betting to move forward because the plaintiff lost a bet on the New England Patriots.

A Superior Court judge sided with the state in September, ruling that Republican activist Daniel Harrop lacked standing to sue because he wasn’t personally harmed by Rhode Island legalizing sports betting without voter approval any more than any other resident.

Harrop then produced evidence of a bet on a Patriots game last year and amended his complaint to cite the loss as grounds for standing, according to The Providence Journal.


Judge Brian Stern ruled Thursday that the bet was sufficient to allow the case to continue.

Harrop believes the state should have sought voter approval before legalizing and launching sports betting a year ago.

Lawyers for the state lottery and Twin River Casino have argued that Harrop isn’t hurt by sports betting. The governor’s administration contends voters approved sports betting when they approved table games years ago.

The state expects $22.7 million in revenue from sports betting this fiscal year, but so far revenue has fallen short of projections. Harrop wants sports betting to stop in Rhode Island until it is approved by voters.