Rush Street sets virtual sports betting first in US

27 November 2017

Rush Street Interactive has become the first company to launch an online virtual sports betting service in the US regulated market.

The company behind the PlaySugarHouse.com online gambling platform recently secured approval from New Jersey regulators to allow consumers in the state to bet on the outcome of virtual sports events.

Punters in New Jersey can now legally wager on virtual football matches online and via a mobile application, with horse, greyhound and motor racing events to soon follow.

The offering has been developed in partnership with Inspired Entertainment, a specialist in virtual sports technologies.

According to the Associated Press news agency, Richard Schwartz, president of Rush Street Interactive, said the new service does not breach any laws in the US regarding betting on sports.

At present, punters can only legally bet on real-life sports events in the state of Nevada, although New Jersey is currently involved in a case that could see this market opened up to more states.

The US Supreme Court will hear New Jersey’s case next month, amid mounting support from a number of professional sports leagues and other lobby groups.

“It’s computer-generated, and not based on any current active live sports event, so it’s not legally considered sports betting,” Schwartz said.

“You can acquire a database of people with an interest in sports betting.”

Schwartz acknowledged that this service is already available at land-based sites in Nevada, but this will be the first time it will be offered online, adding that it will help to boost sportsbook revenue.

“Virtual sports betting is used effectively to fill in time between races and in time periods where there are no real time sporting events,” Schwartz said.

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