Rush Street Interactive (RSI) pulled out of its CT sports betting partnership with the Connecticut Lottery this week, less than two years into a 10-year contract.
The lottery selected RSI as its Connecticut sports betting partner in August 2021, beating out four other bidders for the contract. Rush Street Interactive CEO Richard Schwartz said the departure is in the best interest of shareholders:
“We thank the CLC for their partnership over the last two years. We are proud of what we have accomplished together in Connecticut and have enjoyed the relationships that we have built with the players. Consistent with our long-term strategic goals, after much deliberation and discussions with the CLC, we believe it is in the best interest of RSI and our stockholders to wind down this partnership.”
The market did not respond favorably to the after-hours news right away. The stock was down nearly 4% in after-hours trading as of 5:15 pm Eastern Tuesday.
RSI far behind DraftKings, FanDuel
Even though there are just three legal Connecticut sportsbooks, RSI and the lottery struggled to keep pace with DraftKings and FanDuel, the partners of the state’s two tribal gaming partners.
DraftKings and Foxwoods lead the state in terms of handle with $938.4 million bet on the platform since the market launched in October 2021. FanDuel and Mohegan Gaming, on the other hand, ranked second in handle but first in revenue with $96.3 million since launch.
Rush Street and the CT Lottery, meanwhile, were a distant third in both categories:
Who could bid for CT contract?
The Connecticut Lottery said it would launch a new RFP in the “coming days,” according to the Rush Street release. The CT Lottery did not have any additional information available when reached by LSR.
The four bidders from last time could come back for another round:
- MGM Resorts
- Penn National
There are also operators that could want in on the contract that were not around to bid the first time, including Betway, Fanatics and Tipico.
What’s in a name?
That could be tough for both Caesars and MGM, though, if the rules remain the same as the last RFP.
The two tribal partners negotiated with the lottery to ban its sportsbook partner from deploying a brand used by other land-based casinos.
That would mean their national marketing campaigns would not advertise the brand live in Connecticut. Instead of using the BetRivers brand, RSI instead used PlaySugarHouse.