Chicago on­line bet­ting com­pany to get cash in­fu­sion with merger

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY MITCH DUDEK, STAFF RE­PORTER mdudek@sun­ | @mitch­dudek

Chicago bil­lion­aire casino mag­nate Neil Bluhm’s on­line gam­ing and wa­ger­ing com­pany is merg­ing with a Ne­vada-based ac­qui­si­tions com­pany and go­ing pub­lic.

Rush Street In­ter­ac­tive is merg­ing with dMY Tech­nol­ogy Group, Inc. — known in the busi­ness world as a “blank check com­pany,” or one that raises money in or­der to hunt for busi­nesses to in­vest in rather than run­ning the busi­ness them­selves.

The deal is ex­pected to close later this year, and the Las Ve­gas­based dMY, which was founded in 2019, in­tends to change its name to Rush Street In­ter­ac­tive, Inc.

The merger will help RSI, al­ready an in­dus­try leader, ex­pand and fur­ther develop its on­line bet­ting tech­nol­ogy.

With peo­ple stay­ing home right now due to the pan­demic, “it’s the right time, ob­vi­ously, for this sort of on­line form of en­ter­tain­ment,” ac­cord­ing to RSI spokesman Den­nis Cul­lo­ton.

The merger was an­nounced Mon­day and comes as sports fans hold their breath in hope that pro­fes­sional sports will re­sume un­in­ter­rupted by virus out­breaks.

That hope was put to the test Mon­day when it was an­nounced that at least 14 Mi­ami Mar­lins play­ers and staff mem­bers tested pos­i­tive for COVID-19 — re­sult­ing in the sus­pen­sion of three up­com­ing games.

Bluhm will re­main as chair­man of RSI, Greg Car­lin will re­main as CEO and Richard Schwartz will con­tinue to serve as pres­i­dent. The three men co-founded RSI in 2012.

Bluhm is also a co-owner of Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, which, to­gether with RSI, launched Illi­nois’ first on­line sports book last month, en­abling gam­blers to place bets from their cell­phones.

How­ever, 80% of RSI’s revenue is from on­line casino gam­ing, which is le­gal in sev­eral states, but not Illi­nois, ac­cord­ing to Cul­lo­ton.

The pro­jected value of the com­bined com­pa­nies is $1.78 bil­lion, plus an es­ti­mated $235 mil­lion in net cash to fund growth strat­egy.

RSI projects ap­prox­i­mately $320 mil­lion in revenue for the 2021 fis­cal year.

About 25 em­ploy­ees work at the com­pany’s head­quar­ters at 900 N. Michi­gan Ave., and about 135 other em­ploy­ees are scat­tered around the coun­try work­ing in cus­tomer ser­vice roles, ac­cord­ing to Cul­lo­ton.

In the months fol­low­ing the merger, RSI ex­pects an in­crease in hir­ing.


Bil­lion­aire casino mag­nate Neil Bluhm will re­main chair­man of RSI.

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