Rush Street began as the collaboration of billionaire real estate developer Neil Bluhm and financier Greg Carlin. The company is named after the iconic Chicago north-south roadway, which borders the company headquarters. Rush Street operates casinos, restaurants, and hotels in properties located in such places as Des Plaines, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Schenectady. The company also owns Rush Street Interactive, a regulated i-gaming platform in New Jersey.
Rush Street Gaming aims to win a license in Tomakomai, Hokkaido. Their experience as an IR operator has been predominantly in North America, but they feel that their history of opening new casinos in smaller cities which have no prior experience of the industry provides them an advantage.
Family Name: Bluhm
Given Name: Neil
Profile: Starting his career as a lawyer, Bluhm rose to become a self-made billionaire through the real estate industry. He later entered gaming, becoming an important operator and developer in North America. He and his family are heavily involved in philanthropy. He is a donor to the US Democratic Party and a noted art collector.
Family Name: Drehkoff
Given Name: Tim
Role: Chief Financial Officer
Profile: Trained as an investment banking analyst, Drehkoff has a long association with Rush Street Gaming founder Neil Bluhm. He was appointed as the company's first Chief Financial Officer in 2012.
Family Name: McAllister Cox
Given Name: Laura
Role: Vice-President of Regulatory Compliance and Legal Counsel
Profile: McAllister Cox has over thirty years of experience in the gaming industry with extended stints at Gaming Partners International and the International Association of Gaming Advisors. She joined Rush Street Gaming in 2016 as Vice-President of Regulatory Compliance and Legal Counsel. She is the liaison between Rush Street Gaming and various government agencies, including all gaming industry regulators.
Family Name: Rittvo
Given Name: Steve
Role: Partner and Adviser
Profile: Currently serving as Partner and Adviser to Rush Street Gaming's campaign to gain an IR license in Japan, Rittvo has decades of experience in the gaming industry around the world. He is most associated with a company that he founded, The Innovation Group, for which he has served as chairman and CEO for decades.
The decision by Hokkaido Governor Naomichi Suzuki to drop out of the Japan IR race does not simply remove one more local government from contention, it also represents the collapse of what was arguably the strongest IR initiative outside of the Kansai and Kanto regions, the regional IR which probably would have produced the highest financial returns.
Rush Street Japan has unveiled its architectural team which it hopes will one day soon be designing and building an IR in Tomakomai, Hokkaido.
Rush Street Gaming has announced that it is moving forward with a plan to build a US$60 million, four-star hotel adjoining its Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Japan’s need to confront gambling addiction is immediate and will require a collaborative approach to be fully effective, according to Laura McAllister Cox, vice-president of regulatory compliance and legal counsel for Rush Street Japan, one of the international IR operators interested in gaining a license in a regional market.
The Nihon Keizai Shinbun held its second IR seminar on March 5, this time in Sapporo, Hokkaido, before an audience of 367 people.
Having opened its local office in last December, Rush Street Japan is enhancing its community engagement in Tomakomai, where it hopes to be selected as the operator partner for a Hokkaido IR bid.
The inaugural Hokkaido IR Showcase came to a close last Thursday, as seven IR operators and numerous other Japanese companies and associations exhibited at the first public IR event to be held in the prefecture.
Rush Street Japan has launched its “My Tomakomai” online platform in both Japanese and English languages to solicit local community views about the elements which should be integrated into a Tomakomai IR.
Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino and Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino, both owned by Rush Street Gaming, officially opened their sportsbooks on December 15, moving quicker than their competitors soon after regulatory approval was granted by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board at the end of October.
Rush Street Gaming has an unbroken record of success, and that is why they are confident in winning an IR license in Japan at this time. So says Neil Bluhm, the company’s chairman and noted Chicago billionaire in an exclusive interview with AGB Nippon.
In early October, Rush Street Gaming’s Japan branch was quietly established, with the Chicago-based firm currently looking at Tomakomai, Hokkaido, as the main direction for its IR license campaign.
The partnership between Rush Street Gaming and the Clairvest Group which had endured since 2011 has come to an end after a third company, Churchill Downs, has bought the entire Clairvest stake in the Rivers Casino of Des Plaines, Illinois.
In addition to Clairvest and Hard Rock, both Rush Street Gaming and Mohegan are in the process of opening offices in Tomakomai city, Hokkaido, a report in the local newspaper, Tomakomai Minpo, has revealed.
It would appear that the competition to partner with the Tomakomai municipal government has now narrowed down to six serious suitors—Caesars, Hard Rock, Mohegan, Rush Street, Clairvest, and Foxwoods.