White Hat Studios, the ‘house of brands’ provider to the US iGaming market, has partnered with Rush Street Interactive, Inc. (NYSE: RSI) (“RSI”), to enter the Delaware market with RSI’s BetRivers. This is the sixth iGaming state entry for the studio and also signals its 50th operator state deployment.

The signing sees White Hat Studio’s expansive portfolio of cutting-edge titles made available to BetRivers’ Delaware-based player base, including its unrivalled range of branded games featuring some of the world’s instantly recognized IPs, as well as its award-winning game Almighty Buffalo Megaways™.

The provider’s innovative jackpot system, Jackpot Royale™, will also become available with BetRivers in Delaware, giving players the chance to land one of three progressive jackpot prizes across a number of acclaimed titles. A total of $9.8 million was paid out from 648 jackpot drops in 2023 across 30+ games.

Founded in 2012, Rush Street Interactive is a market leader in the online casino and sports betting spaces, and already a close partner to White Hat Studios in four other states. With a company focus on bridging online, social and land-based iGaming businesses, RSI was named Operator of the Year at the 2022 EGR North America Awards.

This development sees White Hat Studios further cement its position as one of the leading providers in the United States, with several of its releases ranking in the top 25 of the region’s top-performing new online games. The provider is set to focus on further expansion throughout regulated states in 2024, launching in its 7th state of Rhode Island in March 2024.

Andy Whitworth, CEO at White Hat Studios, said: “We are thrilled to go live in Delaware our sixth US state, which means we are now live in all regulated US iGaming States. The is a fantastic achievement in 20 months of going live. we’re honoured and excited that it was made possible with Rush Street Interactive, one of the country’s top operators.

“We truly believe that BetRivers’ players in Delaware will quickly embrace our wide-spanning portfolio of content, as customers across the country have done thus far, and we’re confident that this partnership with RSI will bring strong results across the board.”

Richard Schwartz, CEO at Rush Street Interactive, said: “White Hat Studios boasts a huge collection of titles that have performed extremely well and have been embraced by our players in other US markets, so we’re thrilled to be bringing those games to our players at BetRivers in Delaware  with this deal.

“As one of the country’s leading providers, the success of White Hat Studios has been nothing short of outstanding thus far, and we’re excited to be a partner in their journey and assisting them in becoming a dominant force in the market.”

Online sports betting and iGaming are officially live in the state of Delaware following a soft-launch period beginning on 27 December 2023.

BetRivers launch

The BetRivers sportsbook app is now available statewide thanks to an agreement signed between the Delaware Lottery and Rush Street Interactive (RSI) last year.

The deal saw RSI agree to undertake the operation of Delaware’s online sports betting and iGaming offerings for a period of five years, which can be extended further at the discretion of the Delaware Lottery.

This marks the first time that bettors have been able to legally place online wagers in the state.

Previously, sports betting was only available in Delaware in-person at the state’s three land-based racinos.

Those sports betting operations were previously overseen by 888-owned William Hill, however the operator pulled out of a request for proposals (RFP) process last year, leaving RSI as the sole remaining bidder for the new contract.

iGaming relaunch

In addition to online sports betting, Delaware has also seen the relaunch of its three online casino websites, operated through land-based venues Delaware Park, Bally’s Dover Casino, and Harrington Raceway & Casino.

Revamped versions of the three iGaming brands have relaunched with the addition of new game types including tables games.

The Delaware Park and Harrington Casino & Raceway sites are accessible through the BetRivers app and website, while Bally’s Dover Casino offers its own standalone app and website.

“We are thrilled to begin this historic and much-anticipated launch of the new online sportsbook and casino with the Delaware Lottery and bring our award-winning product to Delaware,” said RSI CEO Richard Schwartz.

Delaware Lottery director Helene Keeley added: “RSI’s successes in other jurisdictions, including neighbouring New Jersey and Pennsylvania, are impressive, along with the company’s overall reputation and experience.

“RSI’s commitment to responsible gaming, quality products, breadth of gaming content and customer service are key reasons we are so excited to partner with them.”

In May 2018, a Supreme Court ruling changed the landscape of gambling in the US by handing power over to individual states to legalise and regulate sports betting as they see fit.

In total, 37 states now allow for legal online betting with Kentucky next in the pipeline to pass legislation.

Setting the ball rolling was Delaware in May 2018, however, only in a retail sports betting capacity as their legislators still prohibit any form of online sports betting which has left a significant dent in their revenue.

If we look at their figures for the last few months, we can see that in May 2023 the state generated around $2.76m from sports betting which is a drop from around $3.45m attained in April.

In September 2022, revenue reached as high as $8.95m and the previous year in November 2021 $15.57m.

Online gambling is available in the form of casino games, and there has been some increase in this arena. $1.2m was achieved in December 2022, which is up 19% from November 2022 of $987,423.

Digital advantage

Is this an indication that for progression a state requires the provision of online services? 

We can assume so when looking at the comparative stats from New Jersey, which legalised sports betting in retail and online just a few weeks after Delaware.

For May 2023, sports betting revenue in New Jersey reached $778m, which is up from $765m last year, however June 2023 saw a slight tailing off with $559m in total revenue.

These are dramatically higher stats than Delaware, though we must take into consideration the drastically higher population of New Jersey, which stands at 9.3 million people, compared to just over a million in Delaware.

To fully explore the notion of a stable industry we must establish how stability is to be qualified.

In this context, a stable sports betting industry is one in which operators provide customer centric bonus offers, odds and services, encouraging a steady revenue stream yet retaining safer gambling measures at the heart of everything it does.

We have seen a pattern in the UK in which there is now a heavy focus on safer gambling measures that operators are required to include. Limits for deposits and losses are a standard for a UK licensee.

Similarly, licensed operators must display detailed information dedicated to helping those looking to pull back from their betting habits, usually in the form of links to support networks and organisations such as GamCare and GambleAware.

The US is a different environment in which state-by-state legislation and allowances vary depending on those in charge.

Newly launching states can learn from the more established sports betting states, taking cues from their successes as well as warnings from the areas in which attention needs to be given.

For example, promotions that were seemingly too good to be true were once used as an attraction to new customers. However nowadays in established states, we are seeing much gentler bonuses that allow customers to lay down a few extra bets off the back of an initial deposit.

There is no doubt that terms and conditions are still very much the determining factor in how customer-friendly a bonus may be – however, we are seeing less of the thousands and more of the hundreds on offer which can only be a positive thing.

As previously mentioned, we have to take the revenue stats of two vastly different states with a pinch of salt. Their industry approach and wishes to operate either online or as retail-only will of course impact revenue as much as their population figures.

Initial enthusiasm typically seems to tail off, and as such we are now seeing profits reaching relative stability across the board much as we are now witnessing in New Jersey.

Taking into consideration the peaks and flows of sporting seasons, this should very much be expected.

Safety first

A key determinant in retaining stability across the industry is the safer gambling organisations that are set up to scrutinise provision, provide support and guidance and to ensure sports betting remains the entertainment it was established to be.

As with legislation itself, we see some organisations focusing on state-wide support, whereas others work across the nation.

Gamblers Anonymous is possibly the most well-known name, offering online advice as well as localised group support.

Nevertheless, like the legislation itself, safer gambling programmes vary from state to state with some providing multiple, easy to locate and professionally led initiatives to a few states that have very little provision at all.

How successful these organisations can be, alongside other determining factors such as strength of legislation and an operator’s approach to customer care, can really only be fairly established by looking at problem gambling statistics.

Combining these with revenue growth, it could be argued, is the best way of ensuring market stability.

For instance, there are mixed reviews in terms of solid percentage statistics for Delaware, however New Jersey sees as many as 13% of the population facing some sort of gambling problem.

To put this in context, at a nation-wide level, between 3% and 5% of people are considered as having a gambling problem.

While this statistic is high for New Jersey, it needs recognising that the state is one of very few who ensure an annual evaluation on problem gambling, highlighting where progress needs to be made and particular sticking points that exacerbate the problem.

Overall, I think there are many determinants that could support a stable sports betting market for newly licensed states, and many areas in which newly legalised states can ensure a safe yet profitable industry.

As we have covered above, there needs to be a realistic approach to bonus offers, adequate and pre-empting safer gambling programmes, and operators that focus on customer service in providing up to date technologies, apps and features.

The profit is sure to come, as all legalised states have proven – however, to ensure consistent growth and stability, there needs to be a concrete balance of safety and profit.

Alice Soule is a content editor for TopRatedCasinos.co.uk, a leading sports betting and casino affiliate based in London that operates across the US, Canada and UK markets. During her time in the industry, Alice has developed a particular interest in safer gambling measures.

A Delaware court has rejected a motion filed by GeoComply that requested expedited access to market competitor Xpoint’s source code in order to solidify a patent infringement case filed last week.

On 27 September, geolocation specialist GeoComply filed its original complaint in the District Delaware Court, alleging that Xpoint’s software infringes on its existing US Patent No. 9,413,805.

The firm subsequently filed a Motion for Expedited Discovery with the court that said: “GeoComply has an abundance of factual and legal bases for the PI [Preliminary Injunction] Motion and indeed is ready and able to file its PI Motion. 

“However, unless GeoComply is able to point to the precise lines in the source code that infringe its ’805 Patent, Xpoint will not have a detailed understanding of GeoComply’s infringement allegations.”

A preliminary injunction motion is intended to offer a quick solution to prevent patent infringement within a matter of weeks, compared to filing a full patent case which can sometimes take years to resolve.

GeoComply added: “With every passing day, literally, GeoComply continues to suffer alarming irreparable harm: just yesterday, one day after GeoComply filed its initial complaint, Xpoint announced a new multi-million-dollar round of investment funding that will support the company’s continued growth in the USA.”

Indeed, on 28 September Xpoint announced new investment from Acies Investments, The Raine Group and SuRo Capital Sports, which join existing investors Bettor Capital and Courtside Ventures, both of which also increased their investments in the firm as part of the new funding round.

GeoComply: “With every passing day, literally, GeoComply continues to suffer alarming irreparable harm: just yesterday, one day after GeoComply filed its initial complaint, Xpoint announced a new multi-million-dollar round of investment funding.”

Following the investment round, managing partner of Bettor Capital David VanEgmond will join Xpoint’s board of directors. He said: “We’re thrilled to double down on our support of Xpoint as the company accelerates their product roll-out.”

GeoComply argued further in its filing that its request for a short and targeted review of Xpoint’s service source code is reasonable at this juncture “because the request is narrow and poses little, if any, prejudice to Xpoint. 

“In fact, the request will likely benefit the parties and the court by enabling GeoComply to efficiently and precisely articulate its infringement allegations,” it added.

The firm insisted that the request “is not a mere fishing expedition, but rather an efficient use of the parties’ and the court’s resources to define the issues in GeoComply’s PI Motion more precisely,” adding that “courts routinely grant expedited discovery on similar grounds.”

The request was nevertheless dismissed by the Chief United States District Judge for Delaware Colm F. Connolly on 30 September.

According to the request filing by GeoComply, gaining access to Xpoint’s source code remains an inevitability during the course of the case – it said its request to expedite access was merely intended to prevent further harm to the business in the meantime while speeding up the proceedings of the case.

In a statement made by defendant Xpoint, the business said the allegations made by GeoComply were “meritless,” adding that it would not make any further statements on the matter until legal action has concluded.