RSI poker expansion
Rush Street Interactive (RSI) has significantly strengthened its position in the US iGaming space after acquiring Phil Galfond’s Run It Once (RIO) online poker site.
includes the professional high-stakes poker player
The buyout, which includes the professional high-stakes poker player and his software team, came to light Wednesday as Chicago-based RSI published its full-year 2021 financial results.
Galfond shuttered RIO two months ago as part of its “path to enter the legal and regulated US market.” The poker pro took to Twitter to finally share news of the deal this week, expressing excitement over the partnership:
In its 2021 financial report, RSI stated it had “acquired the technology platform and onboarded the team” from RIO Poker. This means the deal went through late 2021, with RSI already integrating RIO staff into the business.
Online casino kingpins
RSI is already a power player in the US online table games, slots, and bingo space. The combination will see RSI launch RIO online poker sites in states with a legal market.
According to poker.org, RSI will most likely roll out RIO in states where its online platform is already active. This includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
Galfond, who announced the shuttering of RIO Poker on December 30, 2021, has high hopes for the brand based on RIO’s popularity among the poker community. He described the platform as one that “people loved, with features and innovations that the poker world was excited about.”
He did, however, also admit some former limitations brought forward in customer feedback, including a desire for faster iteration of its software.
Plenty of suitors
Poker pro Phil Hellmuth actually predicted RSI’s expansion into online poker in October 2020. His comments came a few months after the SPAC in which he held shares, dMY Technology Group, merged with RSI. RSI subsequently listed on the New York Stock Exchange at a value of $1.78bn.
Poker news sources posited that the record 16-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner could serve as an ideal face for an RSI poker brand. However, the gambling firm has now clearly settled on Galfond and RIO.
According to Galfond, his poker brand “had many potential suitors” over the past year-and-a-half. Despite this, he said Rush Street ultimately won the race due to its “honesty, integrity, fairness, and transparency.”