Phil Galfond, a talented poker player, recently sold his poker room, Run It Once (RIO), to Rush Street Interactive (RSI) for $5.8 million in stock and cash. RSI is a famous iGaming operator in the United States.
Galfond had shut down RIO two months ago so that he could focus more on thriving in the competitive American online poker market. RSI announced on March 3 that it is RIO's new owner and it will integrate the poker platform into its gaming vertical. The announcement was made during the RSI's meeting to disclose its full-year and fourth quarter 2021 financial results.
The iGaming operator further revealed that it had paid $5.8 million for the poker room. It onboarded its team and acquired its technology platform.
Galfond's Twitter Statement About the Deal
Last year, Galfond stated that RIO was performing poorly in the U.S. market and promised to share more details later. RSI acquired him, RIO'S team, and platform in the recent deal. The poker player has interacted with many potential partners in the past 18 months and is happy to join RSI's team.
Run It Once and Rush Street Interactive share values like fairness, transparency, and honesty. They made Galfond choose to sign the deal with RSI.
Many poker players love the RIO poker room due to its amazing innovations and features. Yet, some of them wish that RSI will increase its software's processing speed.
Galfond stated that the new team is bigger and will be more efficient. Besides, some of his former workers have vast experience in building successful poker platforms.
RIO doesn't have a timeline for launching a new online poker product in other states. Its new markets might include Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. BetMGM Poker, World Series of Poker (WSOP) Online Poker, and PokerStars are RIO's main competitors.
The poker pro added that RIO had other avenues to enter the American poker market besides Rush Street Interactive. But, RSI runs two successful online sportsbook and casino verticals under the PlaySugarHouse and BetRivers brands.
Online poker is legal in seven states and is active in five of them. Today, American players from many states can only play the game at PokerStars, BetMGM Poker, and WSOP.
Rush Street Interactive has a gaming license for sportsbook and online casino in three states. It will help RIO venture into their markets, thus eliminating the need for it to acquire a gaming license. Besides, it will cut down its operating expenses.
RIO is likely to start benefiting from the shared liquidity compact before it resumes operations. The Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MISIGA) comprises three states; Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey.
Michigan has expressed its interest to join the agreement, and it might be part of it by December. If its wish is granted, it will enable RIO to share its existing player pool between Michigan and New Jersey. This will make West Virginia and Pennsylvania eager to join the pact.
RSI Made a $38.1 Million Net Loss in Q4 of 2021
Richard Schwartz, RSI's Chief Executive Officer, stated that the gaming operator will continue investing in different markets and balancing profitability in its existing markets. It currently operates in 14 markets, yet it only had six markets in December 2020.