PointsBet is in talks with the owner of Australian gambling company Betr regarding a possible sale of its Australian trading business.
PointsBet confirmed previous reports of discussions between the sides in a news release after a report from The Australian before Christmas.
“Discussions between PointsBet and NTD are incomplete and preliminary in nature,” PointsBet communicated to the market. “There is no certainty that these discussions will result in any binding transaction.”
PointsBet is traded on the Australian Securities Exchange. It is unclear at this point what these talks might mean for the future of PointsBet’s US operation, which started taking bets in 2019.
The Betr in question is a different company than the one co-founded by influencer Jake Paul that has designs on the US sports betting market.
News Corp. covets PointsBet
Previously, PointsBet had reportedly rejected an offer from Rupert Murdoch‘s News Corp. for its Australian division. The NY Post reported in early 2022 that Fanatics decided against acquiring PointsBet.
In the fall, Murdoch floated the idea of a reunion of News Corp. and Fox Corp. to take advantage of the possibilities in sports betting. News Corp., an investor in Betr, also recently increased its holding in the betting company.
PointsBet’s sports betting pivot
PointsBet has opted to change its marketing approach. It elected to leave its sponsorship deal with the Sunday Night Football pregame show; BetMGM has since taken over the SNF Football Night In America deal.
PointsBet also dropped Drew Brees as a key company spokesman after the ex-QB took an interim coaching job at Purdue. Brees was the face of the company’s “lightning bets” commercial campaign that went viral but was criticized by many.
In a September earnings call, PointsBet reported it held 4% of the US sports betting market.
CEO talks PointsBet’s present, future
PointsBet US CEO Johnny Aitken discussed the company’s strategy with Business Insider.
“We as a team at PointsBet knew we would head into 2022 with most of our efforts focused on elevating our live-betting product and we’ve seen that same sentiment throughout the industry, with mass adoption and growth of live betting as a percentage of overall handle and bet count,” Aitken said.
“This is in line with what we see in the mature European sports-betting market, where live betting accounts for roughly 75% of overall handle; we expect the US to not only meet that but exceed it in the next two years.”
Interestingly, Aitken also praised Fanatics, which is slated to open its US sports betting business in 2023, to BI.
“It has been a topic of conversation for some time now, but I firmly believe Fanatics will enter the market next year, leading to added pressure on competitors to acquire and retain both mass market and general sports fans who bet here and there,” Aitken said. “This casual bettor cohort is already highly contested in the space and will only escalate in 2023, creating a need to find ways to stand out and capture as much of that market as possible in a competitive and crowded landscape.”