PointsBet became the sixth mobile sports betting operator to go live in New York late Monday night. The Australian-based company announced the first wager came through at 10:09 pm ET.
In a statement, PointsBet US CEO Johnny Aitken called the New York launch a “significant milestone” for the company.
Among the promotions available to new PointsBet users is up to $2,000 in risk-free bets. New customers will get up to $500 in free bets if their first fixed-odds bet loses and up to $1,500 in free bets if their first PointsBetting wager loses.
PointsBet was part of the five-operator application Kambi submitted last year to the New York State Gaming Commission. That group presented the winning bid, offering a 51 percent tax rate on gaming revenues, based on nine operators receiving approval.
Others in the Kambi bid include BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, Resorts World Bet, and Wynn Interactive. The Gaming Commission also accepted the application led by FanDuel that included BallyBet, BetMGM, and DraftKings.
BetRivers, Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel launched on Jan. 8. In their first nine days of operation, the Gaming Commission reported those four operators generated a handle of more than $600 million, setting up the state to become the national leader in its first month of online wagering.
BetMGM launched last week. BallyBet, Resorts World Bet, and Wynn Interactive await clearance to go live.
Finding an Edge in New York
The Empire State becomes the ninth US market for PointsBet.
One thing that may help PointsBet establish a stronger position in New York is its outreach to the Spanish-speaking community. The sports betting operator is the exclusive partner with NBC Sports, and can leverage NBC’s Telemundo division to reach the nearly 2.8 million New Yorkers – 15 percent of the population – who live in households where Spanish is spoken.
No other state that currently offers statewide mobile sports betting has that large of a Spanish-speaking population.
PointsBet also offers sports betting in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, Virginia, and West Virginia. PointsBet is considered a mid-tier sportsbook in most of its markets, with handles and revenue totals that trail larger operators.
In Indiana, for example, PointsBet reported a monthly handle of $10.8 million in December, according to data from the Indiana Gaming Commission. That was the seventh-highest total out of the 13 operators and represented a 2.3 percent share of the $463 million handle the IGC reported for the month.
In Michigan, PointsBet reported a total handle of $158.3 million for the 2021 calendar year. That’s according to data from the state Gaming Control Board. With a 4.3 percent share, that ranked sixth among the 14 operators in the state.
Pennsylvania Next On Deck
PointsBet may soon be launching in another state as well. Last week, the company announced it received sports betting and iGaming licenses in Pennsylvania.
With Pennsylvania ranking among the top five sports betting states in the nation, PointsBet is thrilled to be able to soon establish its presence in this lucrative market, and we are appreciative of the support we’ve received from the state of Pennsylvania and the great people at the Gaming Control Board,” Aitken said in a statement.
PointsBet received access rights to the state through an agreement it reached in July 2019 with Penn National Gaming. That agreement included access to several US states, pending the legalization of sports betting in those markets.
Earlier this month, the company reported that it issued more than 509,000 shares of its stock to Penn National subsidiary Penn Interactive Ventures. That move was made after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed a sports betting bill into law.
Penn National officials chose the stock option in lieu of cash, according to the PointsBet filing. The per-share value on the stock was AUD 6.884 (USD 4.926). That makes the transaction worth around AUD 3.5 million (USD 2.5 million).
In September, PointsBet reported that Penn’s subsidiary owned 16.5 million shares of its stock.
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