Earlier this month, Relax Gaming deepened its footprint across the U.S. online casino space by going live in Pennsylvania alongside BetMGM in what was billed as a “significant milestone” by the aggregator and supplier.

This followed the group being granted operational authorization ahead of entering the region, and continues a journey that began in New Jersey in December 2023, where Relax also sees its content live with the MGM and Entain-owned brand.

With sights firmly set on sustained expansion, Chief Regulatory Officer Alexia Smilovic Rønde sat down with SBC Americas to explain just how the company will rise above the intense competition witnessed within the country’s legalized igaming states.

In addition to explaining Relax’s overarching strategy and ambitions within the U.S., Smilovic Rønde details what we can expect to see from the group within Pennsylvania, how internal goals will be achieved and just why their gaming portfolio will be a hit with players.

SBC Americas: To begin, could you briefly talk us through your current standing within the U.S.?

Alexia Smilovic Rønde: This is an incredibly special time for RLX Gaming, as we are at the beginning of our expansion across the United States. This is a journey we have all been anticipating for many years, and to finally be in the midst of it is fantastic.

Our American journey began in New Jersey last December, and from the moment we gained our transactional waiver we really ramped up our efforts in getting licensed in the state of Pennsylvania, where we are now officially live.

We’ve had our sights firmly set on the three main U.S. states for igaming, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan. In order to succeed, we have established a solid roadmap addressing our entry in each jurisdiction. So far, we are delighted with our current pace, as we achieved our primary objectives and look forward to the next milestone.

SBCA: With a limited choice regarding legalized states within the country, how quickly will the company look to expand across these jurisdictions?

ASR: We are focusing our efforts on the three main states at present. Part of our primary goal is to establish a strong organizational presence and brand awareness, to ensure healthy foundations going forward.

We entered the U.S. market with a long-term vision. There are still many states that are firmly against casino liberalization and others that will face lengthy legislative delays, so there’s no immediate prospect of territorial expansion in some places, but we will always have our finger on the pulse to hit the right states at the right time. 

Our main priority right now is to establish a healthy foundation with key partners before expanding geographically. 

SBCA: Pennsylvania is a key jurisdiction for many within the U.S., how can we expect RLX Gaming to make its mark?

ASR: Pennsylvania is a key focus as it offers a different landscape from New Jersey with unique opportunities that could heavily contribute to any newcomer’s growth. RLX Gaming officially obtained authorization from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board around a month ago, and recently started operating within the state in collaboration with BetMGM.

We are incredibly lucky to work closely with such a prominent operator. They were quick to renew their commitment to our fantastic, curated content portfolio as soon as they got word that we would be expanding into PA. 

It’s hugely important to be working with the right partners who are able to amplify our presence in each state we enter. We’re excited about our ongoing prospects with several operators, including local brands. RLX Gaming is in a great position to expand our footprint steadily.

SBCA: What strategies will you put in place to ensure significant growth and ultimate success within the region?

ASR: Integrating a unique proposition in a well-established environment is no easy feat. We have to take many factors into consideration in order to ensure our long-term success in the United States.

Our ambitions for the U.S. will require stamina. No matter how well our content has performed outside of North America, we know that we need to pay very close attention to player preferences in local markets, understanding and deepening our knowledge of what does and doesn’t work here.

It’s also important that US players are well acquainted with our content to ensure maximum resonance and continued interest from the operators. We will be doing our utmost to offer our usual best in class service on all fronts, get our name out there and shape our position as a market contender in the U.S., just as we are in Europe.

SBCA: What titles from within the Relax Gaming catalog do you anticipate resonating with players and why? 

ASR: We have a curated portfolio of top games available at present and those soon to be launched across American shores that we expect to resonate well with our U.S. player base.

Temple Tumble has been a standout game worldwide for all the right reasons, so that’s certainly one to look out for. The same goes for The Great Pigsby which is performing fantastically in New Jersey.

The one that many people have been waiting for though is undoubtedly Great Western Express 3. For those who are unaware, Great Western Express 3 is the American version of Money Train 3. 

With engaging base gameplay, standout features and bonus rounds, we have complete confidence this title will be just as much of a hit in the States as it has been elsewhere.