Rush Street CEO ‘Feeling Good’ About Progress Toward Potential Legalization Of NY Online Casinos

Written By Grant Lucas on August 7, 2023
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Several years of failed legislative efforts to legalize online casinos in New York has not scared of Rush Street Interactive from attempting to turn the tide.

During the company’s latest earnings call, Richard Schwartz made it clear that he and Rush Street “continue to participate in discussions in states such as New York, Illinois and Indiana, where progress was made this past year, but for one reason or another, didn’t cross the finish line.

Added the Rush Street CEO:

“In most instances, in states where we see progress, the topic doesn’t simply recede. Rather, it tends to evolve. Those are the types of discussions we continue to see where there was active legislation this past year.”

NY online casinos present massive growth opportunity

Schwartz highlighted three states that Rush Street – parent company of BetRivers Sportsbook NY – has its eyes on for potential legalization of online casinos: New York, Indiana and Illinois.

Those markets represent massive growth opportunities not only for Rush Street but also for online gaming companies across the country.

As detailed by Schwartz, those three states reflect “over 60 million” in population. For comparison, the CEO continued, Rush Street has deployed its online casino offerings in markets that total 34 million in population.

“So there’s almost 50% more available – more than 50% more available that’s being worked on,” Schwartz said. “So we certainly think there’s opportunity.”

While Schwartz could not speak to specifics about individual state efforts, he noted that “preliminary work is being done.”

“The studies that are being prepared are being used – as prepared are being used potentially to then drive a quicker adoption by the legislators. So we’re feeling good about the progress we’re seeing across the different North American markets.”

Schwartz consistent with NY online casino optimism

For good reason, this is the second time in as many quarterly earnings calls that Schwartz has highlighted New York and other states looking to legalize online casinos.

Earlier this year, Schwartz pointed out that “the industry is aligned and in a way that I haven’t seen before and you’re starting to see a lot of investments being made and lobbying efforts to legalize online casino in a way that you haven’t seen over the last decade.”

While “exciting,” at the time, Schwartz by no means expected an overnight fix in New York, which ultimately (and once again) did not legalize online casinos. But the Empire State has the first ingredient in Schwartz’s recipe for eventual legalization: an excited sponsor in Sen. Joe Addabbo to sponsor bills to legalize NY online casinos.

“We’re starting to see that. And you’re starting to see a lot of effort being made and lobbying dollars being applied towards this goal.”

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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is the managing editor for PlayNY. A longtime, award-winning sports writer, Grant has covered gambling and legal sports betting since 2018, when he got his start reporting on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania industries. He now oversees PlayNY as New York expands legalized gambling to sports betting and online casino gaming.

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