Hard Rock Eyes Michigan as BetRivers Parent Company Goes up for Sale



  • BetRivers parent company, Rush Street Interactive, has been offered for sale with DraftKings and Hard Rock as the major potential buyers.
  • Hard Rock may be forced to weigh options as it plans to vie for an online casino license and expand into Michigan’s gambling industry.
  • DraftKings remained vague about plans for RSI’s offer even though it has a history of acquiring competitors.

Michigan’s online gambling scene is poised for significant shifts. BetRivers Casino and Sportsbook’s parent company, Rush Street Interactive, is exploring various avenues for a sale, including its online gaming division. Bloomberg among others previously reported on these developments.

DraftKings has been identified as a potential acquirer of RSI, though confirmation or denial from their side is pending. Additionally, gambling industry analyst Steve Ruddock disclosed that Hard Rock, an entity from beyond Michigan’s borders, is seemingly close to striking a deal with RSI, indicating further changes in the state’s online betting landscape.

BetRivers Casino Retains Fourth Position as Parent Company Goes on the Market

Rush Street Interactive (RSI) has made the decision to put itself up for sale. The corporation is a part of billionaire Neil Bluhm’s business empire and controls multiple brands, including BetRivers and RushBet. RSI had initially approached DraftKings as a potential buyer but Hard Rock is now looking like a more feasible partner.

With a market value exceeding $1.3 billion, it is not surprising that DraftKings topped the list of preferred buyers because of its deep pockets and history of similar acquisitions. DraftKings previously acquired iGaming operators, including Golden Nugget Online Casino in 2022. Acquiring RSI would have allowed it to integrate another rival.

BetRivers is currently ranked as the No. 4 operator among Michigan online casinos based on revenue. This means that BetRivers is ahead of 11 other licensed operators and is surpassed only by BetMGM, FanDuel, and DraftKings.

The online casino has conveniently maintained this ranking for three straight years while amassing a lifetime revenue of more than $316 million. In February 2024 alone, BetRivers Casino Michigan generated more than $12 million in revenue.

It is currently estimated that the online casino will generate more than $120 million in revenue this year. The online casino’s prominence among Michiganders is driven by its dynamic offerings, bonuses and app packages.

Regardless, the sale of RSI will have little to no impact on BetRivers' online gambling operations in Michigan. Similar acquisitions of Golden Nugget Online Casino by DraftKings and WynnBET by Caesars did not result in closure of these brands.

Hard Rock Emerges as a Prospective Buyer of RSI/BetRivers Assets with Two Options 

Hard Rock’s possible expansion into the Great Lakes State is not necessarily a walk in the park. While the company could easily strike a deal with RSI, the process is bound to become more competitive. This is because there are only 15 available online casino and sportsbook operator licenses in Michigan which makes them pretty valuable.

At the moment, there are two licenses up for grabs. Previously, 888 Holdings had announced a split from Sports Illustrated on March 6. That development made SI’s license vacant and up for acquisition. However, Hard Rock will not be the one gunning for those rights.

The second option would involve striking a deal with RSI. While this is a more expensive option, acquiring Rush Street Interactive would give Hard Rock ownership of BetRivers’ online casino and sports betting product. This puts Hard Rock in a strong position given that BetRivers Casino MI owns a 6.3% share of the state’s online casino market.

Hard Rock, operated by the Seminole Tribe, has an important decision to make in order to become a player in Michigan’s vibrant gambling industry.

DraftKings Could Make a Move on Rival Despite Silence

 DraftKings has remained vague about its plans for RSI and BetRivers. Hard Rock is an accomplished entertainment company with remarkable success in the gambling industry, albeit outside Michigan. RSI’s offer presents a unique opportunity to diversify and expand.

However, DraftKings may eventually bid for the purchase of RSI in order to probably keep BetRivers from growing and threatening its market share in Michigan. This is bound to happen if Hard Rock, or any other company, were to acquire RSI and BetRivers.

If DraftKings makes a move, it will be reminiscent of a similar action it took to keep PointsBet from Fanatics. Eventually, Fanatics acquired the platform but at a greater cost.

Jessica is a news contributor to Gamble Online Michigan. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics but has over three years of experience working in the hospitality and gambling industry. Despite her core finance and investment banking background, she has been a casino feature writer for N1 Interactive Limited and multiple gambling affiliate sites. Her work has been featured on the bet365 blog, casino.zone and Max Force Racing. She spends her time between Michigan and California, staying up-to-date on the latest industry developments