Earlier this year, Phil Galfond announced the closure of his popular site, Run It Once (RIO), with a view of relaunch in the US online poker market. Speculations were made regarding how he would make that happen – and now, we’ve found out, as top American casino operator Rush Street Interactive (RSI) has acquired RIO for $5.8 million in cash stock.
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Galfond’s Decision to Work With Rush Steet
Phil Galfond has spend the past year and a half considering partnering with many other brands. He eventually decided on an acquisition by Rush Street because he states that the brand shares his values: honesty, integrity, fairness and transparency.
Rush Street’s technological capabilities also came into play. The company owns land-based casinos, social gaming websites and licensed online gambling services across the United States, so it is certainly equipped to make Run It Once a much bigger brand.
“RIO Poker created a platform that people loved, with features and innovations that the poker world was excited about, but we also heard things like ‘if only they could iterate on their software faster’ or ‘I’d move all my volume to RIO if they were bigger’. Well, now we are bigger – much bigger.” – Galfond says.
A Fourth US Online Poker Option
Currently, there are just three operators that can provide online poker services to American players: PokerStars, WSOP and BetMGM Poker (through its Borgata and Partypoker skins). Now that RSI owns Run It Once, many poker fans are speculating that it will be the fourth company to launch US online poker sites.
When I mentioned that @RunItOncePoker was headed down a path towards the US market, I told you that I’d have more details to share with you in the near future.
Today is the future! 👇🏻
— Phil Galfond (@PhilGalfond) March 3, 2022
In Which States Will Run It Once Launch?
Further details have yet to be announced about the deal, but the poker community is very excited about the prospects.
Currently, Rush Street Interactive operates sportsbetting services in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana and Pennsylvania. Their online casino platform is live in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
So, this makes it very likely that one of the first states in which Run It Once would launch is Pennsylvania. Rush Street already has two successful products operating there, and it is one of the five states where online poker is currently legal.
The other option would be New Jersey. Like Pennsylvania, it’s state that has legalized online poker in which Rush Street already has a presence.
Poker players across America are thrilled that Run It Once now has the opportunity to launch across the states, and are eager to find out when it will go live. A launch date has yet to be announced, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated with more details as they become available.