Rush Street Interactive (RSI), the parent company of the BetRivers Sportsbook in Illinois, has launched a series of local sports betting podcasts in key markets such as Chicago.
The BetRivers Chicago CityCast launched earlier this month. VSiN’s Danny Burke, a Chicago local, is the host.
So far, Burke has mostly talked about the Chicago Bears from a betting angle on the show. Everything from individual prop bets to Bears futures is covered on the program.
NFL betting is king in the US, so it makes sense that Burke would mostly discuss the Bears. It’s also convenient, however, that BetRivers is the new official sports betting partner of the team.
Richard Schwartz, the CEO of RSI, said of the new podcasts in a press release:
“These CityCasts are locally focused, which is consistent with our strategy to offer our players Hometown Sportsbooks, and offer authentic and credible breakdowns specific to each host’s home market. The hosts’ expert analysis will assist BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse bettors in making knowledgeable sports betting decisions, whether they’re experienced or brand new to the action.”
The Chicago sports betting market is one of four in which these local podcasts have debuted. They are also live in Detroit, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, with New York, Denver, Los Angeles and Washington, DC, on the way.
There are more and more sports betting audio content on the market for consumers.
WSCR’s Joe Ostrowski also hosts a daily sports betting show, BetQL Daily. While Ostrowski is a Chicago radio personality, he focuses more on the national betting landscape than exclusively local teams.
RSI is heavily leaning into the local angle with its new programming. We’ll see if it pays off for the operator.
Where does BetRivers stack up in Illinois?
BetRivers is the third-most-popular sportsbook in Illinois on a monthly basis behind DraftKings and FanDuel. It consistently finishes well ahead of Barstool and PointsBet in handle.
Originally, BetRivers was the No. 1 sportsbook in the Land of Lincoln. But when Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker waived the in-person registration requirement for seven-plus months during the pandemic, it paved the way for DraftKings and FanDuel to claim the top spots.
In-person registration in Illinois is back, and BetRivers has a convenient sign-up hub at Rivers Casino near Chicago. However, it has not made meaningful strides in catching DraftKings and FanDuel since Pritzker brought back in-person registration in April.
Arlington Park announcement could be coming soon
We are officially on Arlington Park sale announcement watch. And RSI and the Bears are involved in one of the biggest stories in Illinois gaming.
Churchill Downs and Rush Street own Rivers Casino, and it’s essentially an open secret that Churchill Downs does not want horse racing or casino gambling to continue in Arlington Heights. With Rivers nearby, it would prefer not to add competition.
That’s where the Bears come in, as they are one of the bidders for the property. And, as more Arlington Park news comes out, the chances that the Bears are the pick seem to increase.