PointsBet Indiana Launch Imminent

PointsBets US expansion

PointsBet will go into its third state when it launches a mobile sportsbook in Indiana before March Madness.

It’s a widely expected move as the Australian bookmaker was handed a temporary vendor license by the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) in January.

Legal sports betting at retail locations in the Hoosier State began in September 2019, with mobile operations beginning a month later.

Since then, sportsbook operators have seen betting handle rise month over month, with January’s total handle figure of $170.8 million setting a new record, having risen 5.6% from December’s previous best of $161.8 million.

With the nascent market barely six months old and just three operators – DraftKings, FanDuel and BetRivers – holding a significant share currently, PointsBet are entering the state at an opportune time, and especially with the NCAA’s national men’s basketball tournament almost upon us.

Figures released by the IGC show that basketball wagering was behind the January spike, with bettors putting down $59.8 million in bets, while football accounted for $36.7 million. That’s a little surprising given the NFL playoffs and college bowl games all took place during the month.

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PointsBet showing positive US net revenue

PointsBet Holdings, the parent company of the bookmaker, has just published its half-year 2020 results and they show that the company has moved into its first positive net revenue half in the US.

They show that revenue for the first half came in at $2.6 million, with its business in New Jersey the main contributor. Of its $122 million in betting handle from July through December, all but $3 million was generated in the Garden State.

That’s not surprising as PointsBet didn’t launch its mobile operations in Iowa until late November 2019 through a partnership with the Catfish Bend Casino in Burlington. In the Hawkeye State, bettors have to first register at a brick and mortar before wagering and that hindrance is in place until Jan. 1, 2021.

Illinois up next?

While Australia remains PointsBet’s core market, it is one of the fastest growing sportsbooks in the US and is rapidly expanding its footprint across the country.

Now live in three states, there are plans to launch in three other states later this year, with Illinois now being prioritized over Colorado and Michigan according to Managing Director and CEO Sam Swanell.

The reasoning behind that stems from Illinois sports betting law, which sets out a requirement for in-person registration for the first 18 months following launch, placing an emphasis on retail operations.

PointsBet inked a 20-year deal with Hawthorne Race Course last summer to build a multi-faceted sports entertainment venue on the property, subject to approval by the Illinois Gaming Board and that’s since been given.

Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Race Course, Illinois

In addition, the agreement allows both parties to launch off-track betting facilities throughout the state, and digital sports wagering via PointsBet’s popular website and mobile app.

Hawthorne is the longest continually run family-owned racetrack in North America and is located about eight miles from downtown Chicago. It will stage harness racing only this spring at the expense of thoroughbred racing to allow construction work to begin on the new facility.

Swanell is estimating a September launch for both retail and online operations in Illinois, saying the ability to gain early market share will be a key indicator of continued success.

PointsBet aligns with NBA & XFL

Finding a professional sports league partner has been all the rage with U.S. sportsbook operators and PointsBet are no different, having recently announced a multi-year deal with the NBA.

Like the league’s other authorized gaming operators, PointsBet will have access to official league betting data, which will used to settle bets, and NBA marks for use on their digital betting platforms.

As part of the partnership PointsBet will integrate the first ever win probability metric across the key NBA platforms including on NBA.com and NBA social media channels. Powered by PointsBet, the win probability metric will provide fans with real time insight towards projected outcomes utilising the same analytics and statistics that fuel PointsBet’s sportsbook, Swanell said.

In addition, PointsBet have become an authorized gaming operator of the XFL, announcing the deal on Twitter.

Online casino build

In New Jersey, PointsBet is currently at a competitive disadvantage due its lack of a casino platform.

Other operators in the Garden State are reaping considerable benefits from being able to cross-sell between online sportsbooks and casinos, with overall casino revenue jumping 64% to $55.1 million in January compared to the same month last year.

The Australian bookmaker is working towards erasing that disadvantage by building a brand new online casino platform, which is slated to launch by the end of 2020.

But according to Swanell, it could first debut in Michigan, where PointsBet has signed a 20-year access agreement with the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, which will see it launch its own-branded online/mobile product in the Granite State.

Follow us over on Twitter @Gamble_usa for more legal sports betting news across the US.

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