Why PointsBet is Bullish On Open New York Sports Betting Market

Posted on March 3, 2021
PointsBet
Posted By on March 3, 2021

PointsBet executives believe online New York sports betting is headed toward an open market, though that remains far from certain.

In a trading update last week, the company highlighted NY sports betting and Canada sports betting as two key opportunities for the company. When pushed by analysts, PointsBet CEO Sam Swannell said he was confident the state was heading the right way.  

“When the governor came out and talked about a single operator model, that was a surprise to the industry,” Swannell said, “But that’s allowed the industry to addess that approach versus the preferred approach. Current legislation does allow three skins and we are confident it’s heading in the right direction.”

Skin in the game

It’s worth noting Swannell had incentive to be positive given the context of the call and PointsBet’s second-skin access in New York.

But the industry seems to be broadly positive about the stat,  if recent partnerships are anything to go by.

Both Penn National and Golden Nugget agreed to market-access agreements for the state last week.

Opportunities north of the border

As for Canada, PointsBet was even more bullish.

“We think the legislative process is tracking well and we’ll see positive news in the next couple of weeks,” the company said.

Swannell said the company had been proactively establishing relationships in Canada, talking to racecourses, media outlets, and telecoms providers.

“We are very well placed to capitalize as that market opens up,” Swannell said.

PointsBet H2 results

Overall, Pointsbet saw US handle up 345% year-on-year to $649 million in the six months to December 31. Gross revenues climbed 92% to $17.7 million.

The operator had online handle market share during the half of:

  • 10.8% in New Jersey 
  • 8.9% in Illinois
  • 3.8% in Indiana
  • 2.4% in Iowa

PointsBet playing catch-up in MI

Swannell also addressed an apparently slow start in Michigan sports betting. PointsBet had a circa 1.4% share of handle in the first ten days of the market.

However the executive said that share would improve as the likes of FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM worked through their initial player bases.

“They can light up their databases,” Swannell said. “Whereas we have to start slow and build as we don’t have that advantage. Even though the number looks small at 1.4%, you have to acknowledge that once they work through those players, then the playing field levels up.”

NBC ROI?

Finally, Swannell was pressed for some color on the NBC deal and whether it was delivering players for low prices. Swannell said it was difficult to quantify the cost of NBC-derived players as they often came through TV shows rather than direct signups.

Swannell added: “In general, our CPAs have been improving despite massive spend from our competitors and we attribute that to NBC.”

PointsBet shares ticked up 1.8% following the trading update.

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Brad Allen

Brad has been covering the online gambling industry in Europe and the US for more than four years, most recently as the news editor at EGR Global.

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