The Rugby Football League (RFL) has created a new sportsbook offering by launching the first US Rugby Sevens Major League, a tournament that will see US and international players compete for a $1 million prize pool.
Backed by a US-based financial consortium, and starting October 2022 in Las Vegas, RFL aims to produce a new fan experience by combining Rugby Sevens events with sports betting.
Through its Rugby Race Track concept, the RFL will work with betting technology providers to provide access to live betting markets, ongoing stats, insights and expert advice throughout each game for fans in the stadium and at home , taking advantage of game innovations and developments.
The inaugural RFL event will feature the top 12 international teams against four American team franchises to earn their share of the $1m.
Starting in 2023, it will expand to up to 17 tournaments in major US cities and will feature up to 16 US team franchises playing with top international teams.
A great opportunity for sports betting and Rugby fans
Philippe Bourdarias, former General Manager of the Rugby World Competition and RFL CEO, commented: “The RFL has a surprising development for the US Rugby game. There is a huge appetite for Rugby Sevens events in the US, as the record shows. of the RWC Sevens 2018 in San Francisco and the success of the Las Vegas Sevens over the years.”
“We feel that there is a huge growth opportunity for RFL and franchises with an innovative model whereby the League centralizes all expenses and rights, leaving the fun side of the League (managing the teams) to the franchisees.”
Bourdarias is supported by Eugene Delaney (commercial and games consultant), former Las Vegas Sevens organizer Rob Cornelius (COO) and European Rugby Cup (Heineken Cup) and the Racing Post executive.
Delaney added: “The RFL offers a truly innovative concept with fan engagement front and foremost.”
“We want to provide a new and unique experience for fans in the stadium and at home, working with bookmakers to create a dynamic betting offering that is not available in any of the other US sports leagues.”
“Our Racetrack Rugby concept will allow us to leverage the rapidly growing live betting market, providing bookmakers with a fantastic opportunity for customer acquisition and engagement. Given our unique positioning, we are already in partnership talks with operators Americans and Europeans”.