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PointsBet generates record net win through US expansion

| By Richard Mulligan
PointsBet generated record group total net win during the final months of 2022, as US handle more than doubled in size.
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In a trading update for the three months to 31 December 2022, the Australia-headquartered, ASX-listed gaming group said its turnover during the period was AU$1.33bn (US$935.3m/€862.9m/£757.6m), which was up 56% year-on-year. Gross win was up 14% year-on-year to $113.8m.

Within total turnover, US contribution was $1.05bn, which was up 75%, while gross win was up 32% to $41.6m. PointsBet – which launched in four US states during the year to 31 December 2022 – said the performance was attributable to a strong trading performance in October and November, although there was short-term negative VIP variance late in the quarter. It said in-play betting was a major contributor to its success and made up 53% of overall handle, compared to 47% in Q2 FY2022. US cash active clients was up 39% compared to the same point in the previous year.

Australian turnover was up 29% to $938.5m, with gross win up slightly to $93.5m. This performance was driven by US sports, football, cricket and tennis, as well as the introduction of products such as Odds Factory initiatives like Same Game Multi.

Earlier this month, PointsBet announced it is in discussions to sell its Australian arm to NTD Limited, the News Corp-led business behind Australia’s Betr brand.

Following PointsBet’s launch in Ontario last April, turnover in Canada reached $80.4m, which was up 284% on the previous quarter. Gross win in Canada was up 121% to $3.5m.

Increased operating costs

While PointsBet welcomed record quarterly receipts from customers, it saw an increase in the cost of its operations. It spent a total of $67.5m on marketing during the period, which was up on the $54.7m spent in the previous quarter. However, it said it expects marketing expenses for the full year to be around US$90m compared to US$118m in FY22.

Cost of sales was up by more than 50% quarter-on-quarter to $61.3m. PointsBet said US business development costs were driven by state launches in Maryland and Ohio, with the group now active in 14 states.

Net win from sports betting totalled $88.2m in Q2 2023, which was up 23%, while igaming was up 183% to $15.2m. Total net win was up 34% year-on-year to $103.4m.

In another announcement, PointsBet’s US operations will be boosted in the coming years by a two-year extension to its partnership with NBCU, which was initially a five-year deal running until 2025.

The extension amends the initial deal terms to reduce PointsBet’s annual ad spend commitment with NBCU properties and to shift some of its ad spend obligations to more regional NBCU assets.

PointsBet will be required to spend roughly $58m per year on marketing with NBCU channels, compared to the roughly $90m per year spend that was required when the initial deal was signed in 2020. The total committed marketing spend for the remaining next five years of the deal between August 2022 and August 2027 is $294m.

The deal also expands PointsBet’s media integrations from NBC Sports properties only to more regional properties within NBCU’s portfolio and its parent Comcast’s portfolio, including Peacock, USA Network, Comcast local TV ad network Effectv and CNBC.

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