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Rush Street Interactive beats earnings guidance in 2023

| By Robert Fletcher
Rush Street Interactive (RSI) exceeded its earnings target for 2023, helped in part by a record fourth quarter.
OPAP 2023

Revenue reached $691.2m (£542.7m/€634.3m), up 16.7% from $592.2m at RSI in the previous year. This was also at the upper range of $630.0m to $700.1m guidance issued by Rush Street in early 2023.

While the business remained at a net loss for the full year, the $18.3m loss was far lower than $38.6m in 2022. In addition, adjusted EBITDA came in at a positive for the year, beyond RSI’s hopes of just a positive second half.

“[I’m proud of] what we’ve accomplished this year and how we’ve set ourselves up for success for years to come,” RSI CEO Richard Schwartz said. “We exceeded the high end of our revenue guidance for the year and achieved EBITDA profitability far ahead of our targets.

“We initially set out to be profitable for the second half of 2023. As a result of our focused efforts, we delivered better results and were profitable for the full year. We ended the year with a record-setting quarter and have starting 2024 with strong momentum.

“Our investments and know-how in creating differentiated and high-quality user experiences are paying off as we simultaneously achieved our growth and profitability targets with increased contribution from all geographies from both icasino and sports and from both our newer and more mature markets.”

Talking up prospects of online casino expansion in US

Schwartz also spoke about the potential for further markets to legalise and launch online casino. The US is near the start of its 2024 legislative session, with Schwartz saying Rush Street is monitoring several markets, including some in Canada, for possible developments.

“While we are not laying off the legislative outcomes, some of the states that we are watching include New York, Maryland, Illinois, as well as provinces in Canada, most notably Alberta,” Schwartz said. 

Further south and Schwartz said Rush Street continues to make progress in Latin America. It has a presence in several markets including Colombia and Mexico, while plans are in place to also go live in Peru.

“In fact, our research has shown that our RushBet brand is already widely recognised in Peru,” Schwartz said. “As our timing becomes clearer on the Peru launch, we will share more details. Notwithstanding, we expect to launch later this year.

“As we look ahead, we are excited about the future. There is no shortage of near and long-term opportunities in our universe.”

Net loss halved in 2023

Inevitably, the increase in revenue and expansion of activities led to a rise in costs. However, total operating costs were only 3.6% higher at $742.8m for the year. 

Rush Street did benefit from $2.8m in finance-related income, which left the group with a pre-tax loss of $48.8m, compared to $125.4m in 2022.

Income tax payments totalled $11.2m, leaving a net loss of $60.1m, an improvement on $134.3m in the previous year. However, $41.8m was discounted as being attributable to non-controlling interests.

As such, total net loss reached $18.3m, less than half the $38.6m loss posted in the previous year. In addition, adjusted EBITDA improved from a loss of $91.8m to a positive of $8.2m.

Rush Street close to the lack after record Q4

Turning to Rush Street’s record Q4, revenue was 17.2% higher at $193.9m, an all-time-high for the group. 

Operating costs crept up 1.8% to $197.4m although Rush Street was able to report $1.3m in finance income. As such, pre-tax loss reached $5.5m, a significant improvement on the $31.1m loss in 2022.

The group paid $3.3m in tax and discounted $3.7m in loss attributable to non-controlling interests. As such, total net loss was reduced from $9.0m to $1.7m, while adjusted EBITDA came in at positive $11.5m, compared to the previous year’s $17.3m loss.

High hopes for 2024

Looking ahead to 2024, Rush Street expects to build on this success and post further growth.

Setting out guidance, revenue is set to come in between $770.0m and $830.0m, with the midpoint of $800.0m being approximately 16.0% ahead of 2023’s total.

Rush Street is also introducing adjusted EBITDA guidance for the full-year 2024. This, it said, will likely be between $35.0m and $45.0m, with the midpoint being some 390.0% ahead of 2023.

“With a substantial cash balance and no debt, our financial wherewithal provides us the luxury of being able to continue executing on our long-term strategy and investing appropriately in new markets,” Schwartz said. 

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