After months of speculation and negotiation, U.S.-based online casino and sports betting company, Rush Street Interactive announced Thursday that it has been selected by the Connecticut Lottery Corporation (CLC) as its sports betting operation partners for the CLC’s sports wagering business, which is soon to be launched.
Under the terms of this 10-year agreement, RSI will serve as the CLC’s exclusive provider of the sports betting system for mobile, online and retail channels, as well as the operator of the CLC’s mobile/online sportsbook. The deal implies at least $170 million for the state, and it was announced in a closed-door meeting by Rob Simmelkjaer, chairman of the board of the CLC, as reported by CTPost.
The CLC, in partnership with RSI, will have the right to operate a statewide online sports betting skin and up to 15 retail sports betting locations including venues in Hartford, Bridgeport, and other locations spread through the state, subject to RSI’s receipt of a licence from the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.
“We chose RSI for a number of reasons, first of all from the purely financial point of view, we graded and perceived their offer to be the best offer. Both in terms of the revenue guarantee, but also the revenue share. I was public in my desire for us to receive at least 50 percent of net gaming revenue and their offer did achieve that for us”, said Simmelkjaer, according to CTPost.
Additionally, CLC announced New Haven-based Sportech will offer retail sports betting at 10 of its current locations, in conjunction with RSI, while promoting CLC’s online and mobile channel.
The CLC is one of three entities in Connecticut with rights to operate mobile and retail sports betting, and is the only one with the ability to operate retail sports betting outside of tribal territories. It is a billion-dollar enterprise with nearly 3,000 retailers throughout the state. RSI is currently live in 11 jursidictions, including 10 states and Colombia.
In a press release published in RSI’s official website, President of RSI, Richard Schwartz, spoke about this partnership and said: “We are honored to be selected by the CLC to bring sports betting to the state and people of Connecticut.”
“This partnership represents a significant milestone for RSI, as the trust and confidence of a state-backed organization such as the CLC further validates the strength of our award-winning online gaming platform and customer service. Building on our proven track record of success in the tri-state area, where RSI was an early entrant in New Jersey and is the market leader in retail sports betting amongst New York’s commercial casinos, we are thrilled to collaborate with the CLC team to offer Connecticuters safe, convenient, and unique gaming experiences.”
Greg Smith, CLC President & CEO, said: “We look forward to working with the team at Rush Street Interactive. We had 15 quality proposals from well-established gaming companies, and RSI rose to the top through the combination of its experience and commitment to quality products, customer service, and responsible gaming safeguards. We’re excited about this partnership and know our players will be getting an excellent product and customer service.”
Schwartz concluded, “As gaming comes online in more and more states across the country, RSI continues to establish itself as a leader in the industry. By leveraging our in-house technology and platform, along with our proven operations, we believe we can deliver strong value and results to forward-thinking government entities or businesses. We continue to make rapid strides in our expansion and in the successful execution of our omnichannel approach to delivering best-in-class products and services to online and retail customers alike.”
Sports betting, both in person and over the telephone, is estimated to raise $19.3 million in state revenue during the budget year that started July 1. It is expected to escalate to $25 million a year by June 30, 2026, according to the General Assembly’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis.
The state regulations on gaming are under review and must be approved; the U.S. Department of the Interior must approve the changes on the tribal casinos; and the state Department of Consumer Protection must issue licenses to all businesses involved in expanded gambling. Last month, federal officials were given the proposal for review, and have 45 days to act.