PointsBet Continues Push For ‘Genuine Customers’ In Latest Earnings

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Earnings season is always an opportunity to learn about operators, but the latest PointsBet report also provided the first peek at what is happening in Ontario sports betting.

Australia-based PointsBet reported its fourth-quarter earnings Thursday night, including an overall US sports betting handle of $480 million. The total handle was up 40% compared to the same quarter last year.

PointsBet had a total net US win of $21.2 million, a 72% year-over-year increase.

PointsBet provides first look at Ontario sports betting

As the industry waits on Ontario sports betting regulators to release any revenue data, PointsBet was the first operator to give some insight into the market, which launched April 4. The sportsbook took a modest $11.2 million in bets during the quarter and generated a net win of $139,558.

Without any other data from the province, it is hard to make anything of the information. PointsBet made a strong marketing push in Ontario and Canada sports betting, so if it has secured meaningful market share, the full provincial numbers could prove disappointing.

On the other hand, if the province does fulfill its status as the fifth-largest market by population in the US and Canada, PointsBet is unlikely to be happy with its Ontario handle from the quarter.

Executives happy with Ontario ‘potential’

PointsBet spent $4.9 million in marketing on deals with organizations like Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and Curling Canada. Executives do not expect much more upfront marketing spending in the coming quarters.

“We are pleased with the overall performance to date. Our approach has been to standout from the sea of sameness,” PointsBet Canada CEO Scott Vanderwel said. “We expect to leverage the partnerships to drive strong player acquisition economics. We are excited about our potential and plan to deliver growth.”

The Ontario handle also did not include numbers for iGaming, which is legal in the market.

PointsBet US full-year sports betting numbers

PointsBet took $1.7 billion in total US wagers during the 2022 fiscal year, a 37% year-over-year increase. The sportsbook took a net win of $51.7 million. That is an 81% year-over-year jump.

The operator had 266,882 cash active clients for the year, up 67%. The company also claimed a 3.5% market share across its live states.

PointsBet market share by state

PointsBet USA CEO Johnny Aitken doubled down on comments from the last earnings report about seeking “genuine customers” as opposed to a greater number of bettors.

NBC proves important to Illinois success

Aitken said its partnership with NBC “provides a lot of depth in Illinois.” NBC Chicago holds the broadcast rights for the Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox.

Nationwide, the NBC free-to-play game helped create more than 660,000 leads for the sportsbook. PointsBet Group CEO Sam Swanell, however, said those ultimately play out to be fairly low-value customers.

PointsBet continues in-play push

In-play handle made up 63% of the operator’s overall US handle. That is an increase of 46% compared to the 2021 fourth quarter.

The in-play handle was also up from the 59% the company turned in last quarter. Among its in-play highlights, Aitken noted it made up 54% of the NBA handle, up from 37% in Q4 2021.

Additionally, Swanell believes the recent investment from Susquehanna‘s SIG Sports will help drive the in-play growth in future quarters. He said Susquehanna’s Nellie Analytics will provide faster bet placement capabilities and sharper pricing.

Future plans for PointsBet

PointsBet expects to launch in several US states in the near future. Those states include:

Unlike most previous US markets, Swanell is excited the sportsbook should launch on Day 1 in three of those markets. Mobile Louisiana sports betting began in January.