PointsBet Offers Early Look at Ontario Sports Betting Revenue

PointsBet Offers Early Look at Ontario Sports Betting Revenue
By Mark Keast
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

The numbers from iGaming Ontario regarding sports betting in Ontario are still a mystery and have been for the province’s regulated sports betting market since the April 4 launch date.

OntarioBets.com reached out to iGaming Ontario for an update or comment. A spokesperson said that while the body appreciates that the first market performance report is “highly anticipated,” there was no further update on the timing of the release.

“IGO has committed to releasing quarterly numbers, I believe the only delay has been the due to ensuring they have appropriate government sign off. The Ontario government is coming back to the Ontario legislature next week, a lot of holiday time for the political side post-election,” said Paul Burns, president and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association. “I’m sure they will release soon.”

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Transparency Important in Ontario Gaming Market

Brandt Iden, head of government affairs, US, for Sportradar, did a lot of work in the regulated Michigan sports betting market. During a panel discussion at June’s SiGMA conference in Toronto, Iden said that for a market to succeed from a supplier perspective, it needs transparency in the market.

Both sports wagering and legal, regulated Ontario online gaming launched at the same time.

“The AGCO and iGaming Ontario said (they) will release the numbers,” he said.

PointsBet gave us a bit of an insight into the Ontario market last week with its fourth-quarter investor report. According to the company’s Canadian arm, the PointsBet Ontario Sportsbook reported a 3-5% market share (according to Morgan Stanley app download data released in May) and had around $14.3 million Canadian in sports betting handle for the three months ending June 30. The sports betting gross win was around $625,000 and total net win was around $178,000. 

Words like “disappointing” and “anemic” have been tossed around, if those results offer any accurate insight into the potential size of the Ontario market.

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PointsBet Canada Partnerships in Early Stages

PointsBet had a marketing expense in Q4 2022 of $7 million, but the company hasn’t been able to leverage most of the associated partnerships yet. Their deal with Curling Canada is a big one. Let’s wait to see how they do during the PointsBet Invitational this September in Fredericton, New Brunswick, bringing together Canada’s top curling teams in the first big event of the 2022-23 season.

That potentially could be a big event for Ontario sportsbook apps before NFL season cranks up.

The initial steps have been finalizing these partnerships, with MLSE and ClubLink as well, building the brand, polishing their identity as an authentically Canadian operation. Then moving forward, bringing these relationships more to life should help boost handle.

It will be interesting to see the market performance of operators like FanDuel and theScore Bet who have been more aggressive with their markets spends. Folks will also tell you PointsBet and companies that weren’t operating in Canada’s grey market for years didn’t start off the same marker when it comes to client databases as the companies that did (Bet365 for example). 

So what is the moral of the story for PointsBet Casino, its sportsbook and other Ontario operators? Even after that first market performance and revenue data report from iGaming Ontario, we’re going to need a long time to get an accurate picture of where the regulated market is truly heading in the province.

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Mark Keast has recently covered the sports betting industry in Canada for The Parleh, and is a long-time sportswriter and editor, most notably with the Toronto Sun.

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