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US – Rugby Football League announces inaugural 2022 event in Las Vegas with sports betting offering

By - 1 December 2021

The Rugby Football League (RFL), a newly formed US company, has launched the first-ever US Rugby Sevens Major League, which will see the world’s best international male players battle it out against the best US players for record-breaking prize money.

Kicking off in October 2022 in Las Vegas, the RFL aspires to create a new fan experience combining the energy of Rugby Sevens events with betting in a new, integrated offering.

Fans at home and in the stadium will have access to live betting markets, in-running stats, insights and expert advice throughout each game. The RFL will work with betting tech providers to deliver this betting proposition, taking advantage of new innovations and gamification developments.

The inaugural RFL event will feature the top 12 international teams pitted against four US team franchises to win their share of the $1m prize money. From 2023, the RFL 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.

The RFL has assembled a team of expert professionals lead by former World Rugby Competition General Manager, Philippe Bourdarias (RFL CEO), who commented: “The RFL is an amazing development for the game of Rugby in the US. There is a huge appetite for Rugby Sevens events in the US, as shown by the record breaking 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 the RFL and Franchises with an innovative model whereby the League centralises all expenses and rights, leaving the fun side of the League (managing the teams) to the Franchisees.”

Philippe is supported by former Las Vegas Sevens organiser Rob Cornelius (COO) and former European Rugby Cup (Heineken Cup), Paddy Power and Racing Post executive Eugene Delaney (Gaming and Commercial adviser), to build and deliver the project backed by a US-based financial consortium.

RFL Gaming and Commercial advisor, Eugene Delaney, added: “The RFL delivers a truly innovative concept with fan engagement front and foremost. We want to provide a new and unique experience for fans at the stadium and at home by working with sportsbooks to create dynamic betting offering, something not available in any of the other US sports leagues.

“Our race track rugby concept will enable us to leverage the fast-growing live betting market, providing sportsbooks with a fantastic opportunity for customer acquisition and engagement. Given our unique positioning, we are already in partnership talks with US and European operators.”

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