It seems it’s only a matter of time until sports betting becomes legalised in Canada and following the same strategy they employed for their United States expansion, bookmaker PointsBet (ASX: PBH) is readying operations north of the border to secure first mover advantage.
As one of the most agile bookmakers in the world given its independence from the conglomerate. PointsBet was quick to commence operations in the United States as regulatory changes were being eased to legalise sportsbetting in 2018 with the landmark Supreme Court ruling. The Company has since grown to operate in 16 US States.
Being an early mover in the US while other operators have been sitting back, waiting for the slow bureaucratic process to play out where each individual US State must pass its own legislation, PointsBet has quickly emerged as a leader in North America with more than 127,000 active clients, a number that has grown by 461% over the past 12 months.
Witnessing the value that sportsbetting is providing back to Governments via the form of tax, tourism and increased interest in sports, it seems only inevitable that Canada will be following suit shortly, and with less bureaucratic red tape.
“The PointsBet team is encouraged by the news today of the continued progress of bill C-218 on second reading in the Senate, which is set to legalize single-game sports wagering in Canada,” said PointsBet USA CEO, Johnny Aitken.
“As a leading global online gaming company, with successful operations in Australia and the United States, this is exceeding news for our neighbors in the North and we are hopeful this development will give us a chance to introduce our Canadian friends to the fastest, safest, and most personalised online sports betting product in the world.”
With the United States having essentially been a greenfield market for online bookmakers, the state-by-state timing uncertainty put off some of the world’s largest operators from entering the lucrative market. Instead, it is widely anticipated that the likes of Flutter Stars and Entain will seek to grow their North American presence via acquisition which follows their proven models of acquiring customers in bulk from mature businesses.
Between them the two companies account for the world’s largest sports betting brands with Flutter owning Paddy Power, Betfair, Sportsbet, Pokerstars and more, while some of Entain’s biggest brands include bwin, Ladbrokes, Coral. Entain is also in the process of trying to acquire the waging division of Tabcorp (ASX: TAH) in Australia.
Since entrenching itself in the United States, PointsBet has tech capabilities to expand its product offering which has been key to the company’s 127,000 active clients comfortably on track to eclipse their Australian base of 158,000 active clients.
Having achieved the client acquisition rate in the US that they have, it can be expected that a similar model will be deployed in Canada with PointsBet already making plans to launch teams in the Maple Leaf nation.
“Most importantly, this gives companies like ours the chance to hire homegrown Canadian talent for jobs that otherwise would not have existed without this momentous development,” said Aitken.
“We very much look forward to building a strong Canadian based team in the months ahead, and also understand the significant role greater regulatory oversight has on emerging gaming markets and the vital consumer protections needed to insure positive growth”
In February 2021, PointsBet National Hockey League (NHL) was appointed the official sportsbetting partner of the NHL under a multi-year partnership.
As the most watched sport in Canada, it’s fair to say PointsBet already has a significant leg up on its competition with this valuable marketing exposure.
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