PointsBet pinpoints possible Alberta entry date in FY23 review

The firm has held long-term ambitions in the Canadian province

The province of Alberta remains firmly in the thoughts of PointsBet, as evidenced during the presentation of the company’s FY23 results last week when the prospect of a 2024 launch was raised.

The Australian-owned betting and gaming group published its full-year results on Wednesday and held a conference call with investors and analysts, and it didn’t take long for Managing Director and CEO Sam Swanell to broach the subject of Alberta in the Q&A section.

Swannell previously said that PointsBet was “keeping a close eye” on developments there ahead of the province potentially following the footsteps of Ontario and opening up the market.

Currently, Alberta has just one authorized online gambling site, the government-owned PlayAlberta, which is set to host a new sportsbook soon following an agreement struck with BtoBet.

“We believe that there’s a good chance that Alberta, as an example, gets added to the TAM (total addressable market), let’s call it in the second half of the calendar year [2024],” said Swanell. “And thus, that A$2bn (C$1.76bn) market could become A$2.5bn (C$2.2bn).”

PointsBet’s FY23 report included sections specifically reserved for its Canadian operations, which take on added significance in North America following the impending sale of its US arm to Fanatics.

The company’s revenue for its first full year of operations in Canada was C$16m, with total sportsbook turnover of C$171.1m driven primarily by NBA, NFL, Tennis, MLB, NHL and FIFA World Cup.

Meanwhile, Points Bet’s in-play mix of sportsbook handle grew to 63% in FY23, up from 53% in the PCP, and sportsbook gross win margin improved to 6.4% compared to 4.2%.

Furthermore, marketing expense for FY23 was C$26.4m as the firm ‘continued to build up its position in the market’.

In a joint statement, Swanell and Chairman, Brett Paton, said: “The Canadian business which launched only in April 2022, saw significant growth in sports betting net win to A$6.8m (C$6m) and igaming net win at A$11.5m (C$10.1m) for total net win of A$18.3m (C$16m) with 30,423 cash active clients.

“As we look ahead to FY24, we are looking forward to delivering growth in Canada. The company will maintain a top tier North American sports betting product, an exciting product roadmap and will continue to invest in our product and app experience for both our Australian and Canadian businesses, underpinned by OddsFactory.”

Paton and Swanell added: “The Canadian business provides shareholders continued exposure to the North American market through a jurisdiction that is more attractive than most US states. The lower capital requirements and higher operating margins benefited from lower gaming tax relative to most US states create strong prospects for attractive future economics with additional provinces going live over the next two years. Our technology is a real competitive advantage in both markets.

“We believe the early stage of the Canadian business compliments our more mature Australian business, as well as providing an opportunity to leverage attractive features of our tech stack that aren’t available in the Australian market such as igaming, and online live betting.”

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