The Connecticut Lottery Corporation (CLC) today announced Rush Street Interactive (RSI) as its sports betting operations partner for the Corporation’s soon-to-launch sports wagering business. Through this 10-year agreement and subject to regulatory approvals, RSI will serve as the CLC’s exclusive provider of a state-of-the-art sports betting system for mobile, online, and retail channels, including as the operator of the CLC’s mobile/online sportsbook. RSI’s experience and strong financial commitment to the CLC reflect its dedication to being the Corporation’s best sports betting partner.
“Rush Street Interactive is a respected sports betting and gaming company that has established itself as a leading innovator in the industry,” said Rob Simmelkjaer, Chairman, CLC Board of Directors. “We are impressed not only with RSI’s successes in other jurisdictions, particularly in neighboring New York and New Jersey, but also its commitment to responsible gambling practices.”
“We look forward to working with the team at Rush Street Interactive,” said Greg Smith, CLC President & CEO. “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.”
RSI is a market leader in online casino and sports betting in the U.S. In 2020, RSI received the prestigious Global Gaming Awards Digital Operator of the Year award and was named Customer Service Operator of the Year in both 2020 and 2021 from the eGaming Review. According to a July 2021 report from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, a gaming research firm, RSI was a top five online sports betting company in the United States per gross gaming revenues over the past 12 months.
Known for its PlaySugarHouse.com, BetRivers.com, and RushBet.co brands, RSI operates in 10 different states, including New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. New Jersey was the first state where RSI launched online gaming under the PlaySugarHouse.com brand in 2016, and, today, RSI is one of the largest operators of both online casino and sports betting in the state. In New York, RSI oversees the operations of the Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady retail sportsbook, which was the first casino in New York history to accept a legalized sports bet and has been the leading commercial sportsbook in the state by revenue since its launch in 2019.
“We are honored to be selected by the CLC to bring sports betting to the state and people of Connecticut,” said Richard Schwartz, President of RSI. “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.”
In addition, the CLC has teamed with Connecticut-based Sportech to offer sports betting at 10 of Sportech’s current OTB locations, including Bobby V’s locations in Stamford and Windsor Locks; Sports Haven in New Haven; and the Winners locations in Hartford, Manchester, Waterbury, Torrington, New Britain, Milford, and Norwalk. The Connecticut Lottery Corporation may operate up to 15 retail sports wagering locations. Sportech is a trusted participant in the global gaming technology sector, providing technology and service solutions for lotteries and gaming companies and owning and operating gaming venues in the USA.
“We are very excited to partner with Sportech to bring retail sports betting to all corners of the state of Connecticut,” said Simmelkjaer. “Their existing locations and licensed staff will allow us to get to market quickly with RSI’s retail offering, and we look forward to working with them as we ramp up retail sports betting around the state.”
Andrew Lindley, Chief Operating Officer of Sportech PLC, added: “For over 25 years, Sportech has been the exclusive licensee of Connecticut’s off-track betting system and an established state gaming business. We are delighted to bring our established locations, local expertise, and licensed betting professionals to support CLC in delivering an exciting sports betting product across our retail network and assist in promoting CLC’s online and mobile channel.”
The news of the RSI and Sportech partnerships come on the heels of a successful 2021 fiscal year for the Connecticut Lottery Corporation, which saw the CLC generate a record $1.5 billion in total sales and transfer a best-ever $418 million to the state’s General Fund.
In May 2021, the Connecticut General Assembly passed legislation to authorize sports betting in Connecticut. Governor Ned Lamont signed the bill on May 27, 2021. The new law, in part, gives the Connecticut Lottery Corporation (upon issuance of a license from the CT Department of Consumer Protection):
• The right to operate a statewide online/mobile sports betting skin with partners and vendors to be determined;
• The right to operate up to 15 retail sports betting locations (including venues in Hartford and Bridgeport);
• The right to sublicense some of those retail locations to the state-licensed parimutuel operator;
• The right to sell draw games and Keno products online statewide (also known as “iLottery”).