- RIO could launch in the United States before the end of 2023
- RIO’s parent firm RSI will replace 888 as the iGaming provider in Delaware
- RSI is likely to launch a multi-state online poker network
Run it Once (RIO), the online poker platform founded by American poker pro Phil Galfond, could make a debut in the US this winter.
RIO’s parent company Rush Street Interactive (RSI) was chosen by Delaware Lottery as its exclusive online gaming provider, replacing 888 which had been its online partner since 2013.
RSI Planning to Launch Online Poker in US
According to a recent statement from Delaware Lottery Director Helene Keeley, RSI is planning to launch online poker in the state though a specific timeline has yet to be determined. However, Keeley confirmed that RSI is keen on launching new online gaming sites and apps this winter at the earliest.
RSI refused to comment further on the recent developments, with RIO head Jason Senti also staying silent on the plan. Keeley’s words are the strongest signals yet that RSI is eyeing to establish its own online poker network in the US, given that Delaware is part of the existing Multi-State Internet Agreement (MSIGA), alongside New Jersey, Nevada, and Michigan.
Launching in Delaware alone won’t work for RSI as the state has a small online poker market with a population of only 1 million. This means the operator will most likely go for a coordinated launch in one or more other jurisdictions covered by MSIGA. It already has a presence in Michigan and New Jersey through its BetRivers brand.
At the moment, WSOP/888 remains the only network with access to three of the four states that are part of the MSIGA. PokerStars has its own network too, linking its Michigan and New Jersey players. Things could change when RSI officially enters the market.
888 May Extend its Services in Delaware
888 has been the exclusive iGaming vendor of the Delaware Lottery since 2018. The company powers the online poker and casino platforms running at the three racinos in the state.
While RSI has now been selected to replace 888, the latter may have its online poker services extended in Delaware while the relevant parties work to get things in order.
The target launch for any new online gaming service in the state is in November, but RIO is unlikely to meet that. This means 888 is likely to continue to serve online poker players in Delaware during the transition period.