Analysis: 5 Key Takeaways From PointsBet Earnings Call

Written By Matthew Waters on May 3, 2022
PointsBet

Earnings calls are typically the best way to learn about a company’s near-term plans, and PointsBet did not disappoint.

PointsBet reported $577.2 million in total US handle for the quarter last Thursday, up 70% over last year and 37% from the prior quarter. US net win for the quarter was down 29% compared to last year, though, even with an additional $3.9 million in iGaming revenue.

Here are the five most important items talked about on the PointsBet conference call:

1) In-game betting growing for PointsBet

PointsBet purchased trading technology firm Banach last March to strengthen its in-play offerings, and the results are clear.

Overall, in-play handle accounted for 59% of total wagers in the quarter, which is up 22% compared to the previous year. NBA in-play handle jumped 26% compared to the third quarter last year.

Compared to March Madness betting in 2021, this year’s tournament saw 116% more in-play handle. That represented 49% of total tournament handle compared to 35% last year.

Swanell said the company hopes 75% of all handle eventually comes from live betting.

2) Not concerned about low-value bettors

The quality of a new customer is much more important than the quantity, Swanell explained when pressed by JP Morgan analyst Don Carducci on customer growth numbers.

The number of customers that placed a cash bet with PointsBet in the third quarter grew 96% over last year to 249,497. That was up just 18.2% over the second quarter, though, compared to 87.2% growth from the second to third quarter last year.

Carducci asked why the same kind of growth was not possible, especially given recent launches like New York and Pennsylvania:

“I think that once you’re building up a larger client base, obviously, the exponential increases gets a little bit harder,” Swanell said. “But I think we’ve been pretty clear and we’ve called out in the marketplace that there’s a lot of frothiness in some of the numbers that are out there. There’s a lot of clients that are basically not worth your effort. And so we’ve made it pretty clear on this call and the previous one that we’re going to focus on quality over quantity.”

3) Solid metrics for NY, PA

Avoiding clients that are not worth the “effort” seems to be working in PointsBet’s two newest states.

The company launched about two weeks after other NY sportsbooks but still set a record for highest volume of first-time bettors, Swanell said. Deposits from first-time depositors were also on average nearly three times higher than other states.

PointsBet only offered sports betting in Pennsylvania for about two months last quarter but Swanell said early indications of first-time bettor value look “very promising.” Because of the two launches, the first cash bet of a new client was 91% higher on average than last year.

4) BetCasts driving interaction

There were four special BetCasts on Chicago Bulls games between March 3 and April 8, compared to 15 non-BetCast games. The numbers show solid growth in certain metrics during a betting-oriented broadcast.

There were 41% more unique bettors on average for the BetCast games compared to the others. That led to a 39% increase in total bets and a 17% jump in handle.

In-play betting saw a big boost, too. During a BetCast game, there were 81% more in-play bets on average than the other games with 107% more unique in-play bettors.

5) Where will PointsBet launch next?

Swanell noted there are four states the brand is focusing on for its next launches.

The first three will be new states where PointsBet is ready at the starting line:

The fourth will be what he called a catch-up state, though the company is still deciding which one should take priority. He then added that probably Louisiana is the catch-up state coming next.

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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