RSI’s RIO Acquisition Paves the Way for Fourth US Poker Brand

Online poker options in the US might soon expand with the addition of Run It Once (RIO) brand after it was acquired by Rush Street Interactive (RSI) in a $5.8 million deal last week.

RIO Poker Is Now Bigger

The acquisition of RIO, the popular online poker website owned by Phil Galfond, is suddenly bringing up a fourth player across US online poker regulated markets where currently only PokerStars, World Series of Poker (WSOP) and BetMGM Poker operate.

“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.”

Phil Galfond

The poker pro announced the acquisition deal that includes himself, the poker platform and the team of RIO, after shutting it down by the end of last year in an attempt to facilitate its entry into the US iGaming space.

RSI stated in its full year 2021 financial report it had acquired the platform and on-boarded the RIO Poker team, which means the RSI acquisition deal materialized late in 2021 prior to the website being taken down by Galfond.

“When I mentioned that RIO Poker was headed down a path towards the US market, I told you that I would have more details to share with you in the near future. Today is the future,” commented Galfond on Twitter.

Sharing Common Values

Galfond noted his poker brand was not shy of offers over the past year-and-a-half but RSI won his trust due to the shared values of “honesty, integrity, fairness, and transparency.”

Galfond’s Challenge, ultra-high stakes games Galfond plays against some of the world’s best poker players, was one of the main aspects of RIO Poker that lured the Chicago-based casino and gaming operator.

RIO Poker suitor RSI currently operates online sports betting and casino gaming in a total of 13 US jurisdictions under its and brands and the acquisition of RIO Poker further strengthens the company’s position in the US iGaming space.

The question now is where RSI will launch the online poker brand for which Galfond will serve as brand ambassador and when as a launch date is yet to be announced but many argue it will be in one of the states in which the operator is live with online casino gaming.