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RSI targets expansion after New Jersey sports betting launch

| By iGB Editorial Team
Colombian sportsbook informs move into US marketplace

Rush Street Interactive (RSI) is targeting expansion into further markets after its online casino brand, PlaySugarHouse.com, became the first gaming operator in the US to launch an integrated online sportsbook and casino.

Launched in the state of New Jersey yesterday (Thursday), the new SugarHouse Online Sportsbook & Casino features a wide variety of bets, competitive odds and what it claims is a ground-breaking loyalty program that merges casino games with sports betting.

Players can earn loyalty and bonus points on every single sports and casino wager, including the more than five million Live In-Game bet options and 450 casino games and live dealer table games. Additionally, unified player accounts, wallet and bonusing allow players to switch between sports betting and casino play.

Commenting on the decision to enter the New Jersey sports betting market, Richard Schwartz, president of Rush Street Interactive, told iGamingBusiness.com: “Our reason for entering was to try to grow our existing online NJ business and mature our products and operational services in anticipation of expanding to future US markets.”

He added: “We’re hoping to expand into other legal and regulated markets that open in the US. We’ve already received some interest in collaboration from other operators in other markets who are interested in using our platform and operating services, along with the Kambi sportsbook, so this is something that we’re beginning to explore.”

RSI has partnered with Kambi, a provider of premium sports betting services to licensed B2C gaming operators, in the venture. Thursday’s launch came after Kambi and RSI received the necessary regulatory clearance from New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement.

As a result of RSI’s existing online presence in New Jersey via PlaySugarHouse.com, the operator has been able to implement a full launch, with players immediately able to access the sportsbook on mobile through Android and iOS, and on desktop throughout the state.

The SugarHouse Online Sportsbook & Casino is a combination of Kambi’s sportsbook and RSI’s iGaming platform, creating a turnkey solution which Kambi has said could be leveraged by operators in other regulated US markets.

In June, RSI also launched an online sportsbook into the regulated Colombian market, having partnered with Kambi in May. Schwartz said its Colombian operation has served to inform the subsequent launch in New Jersey.

“When RSI decided to enter the regulated Colombian online market, we felt that in addition to the exciting commercial opportunity that the market provided for us, it would also enable us to mature our sportsbook solution and gain valuable experience operating it,” he said.

“We were fortunate to take the time over the past year to work closely with our sportsbook provider, Kambi, that our integration between RSI’s igaming platform and their sportsbook would be quality. So rather than rushing a new product to market in the US, we feel like as a result of our Colombia business, we’ve been able to launch in the US with a mature solution.

“Our experience also proved the value of our unique sportsbook loyalty program. Players in Columbia appreciate that they can earn points on every single bet so it is something we have implemented for our US players too.”

Schwartz also believes the new PlaySugarHouse offering will stand apart from other operators already established in New Jersey. He added: “We’re the first online operator in New Jersey (and the United States) to offer an integrated online sportsbook and casino, which means our players will use the same player account, wallet, bonusing, and even loyalty points between sports betting and casino play. 

“In addition, our sportsbook will offer a huge variety of bets, competitive odds and a really unique and player-friendly loyalty program that awards players with loyalty points from every sports or casino bet. An innovative feature our sportsbook offers is to permit players to cash‐out an active bet before the outcome is determined, allowing them to secure part of their winnings or cut their losses as the odds change. We’ve also developed in-house some proprietary features, including a jackpot parlay product, that we think will appeal to our players.”

RSI becomes the second Kambi customer to launch an online sportsbook in New Jersey, after DraftKings, and just the third operator to do so since the opening of the market.

Having been first to market on August 1, Kambi-powered sportsbooks now make up two-thirds of the online wagering options for players in New Jersey.

In a statement, Kambi chief executive Kristian Nylen said: “To be providing our sportsbook to two of the three online operators currently live in New Jersey is a great achievement and provides further evidence that Kambi is the trusted sports betting partner for operators wishing to enter regulated markets.”

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