Scott Vanderwel, the current CEO of PointsBet Canada, is quite optimistic about the company’s chances of success in the newly regulated Canadian sports betting market. The CEO said the company is more than well positioned and ready to meet the challenge of competitors such as theScore regarding the launch in the country.
The CEO has a lot of experience in his resume as he previously headed the company’s strategy office and worked with Rogers Media President Keith Pelley. Mr. Vanderwel helped the company acquire the rights to broadcast NHL games in Canada in a stunning C $ 5.2 billion deal. He will now have to put his expertise at the service of the competitive sports betting market in Canada.
Ready for competition
PointsBet Canada is now well prepared for Canada’s unique sports betting market and Ontario’s open online gaming market for private operators by the end of the year. In addition, Mr. Vanderwel, the company also appointed a veteran of the game and fantasy sports Nic Sulsky and Dale Fallon, who is the digital product manager for Rogers’ Sportsnet product.
Macquarie analyst Chad Beynon believes theScore will struggle to establish itself in local markets due to fierce competition from big game operators in Ontario. The province is the first in the country to launch an open market for industry operators, and its official start should take place in December. It is expected that other provinces will follow suit.
Mr Vanderwel said theScore is a big media company, just as he is now learning to be a big sports company. However, he said that he believes in his own business product and is ready to face them. He explained that, like in most markets, there will be five to eight companies with an established brand and recognition, and PointsBet will be one of them.
When asked if their good relationship with Rogers Communications would mean potential collaborations between them and the games company, Mr Vanderwel said that it would only be speculation. He also believes that the new market offers a great prospect for the company and that there is an opportunity to build relationships and engage Canadian fans.
PointsBet appointed game veteran Mr Sulsky as commercial director in June to prepare the legalization of individual sports betting and the upcoming expansion of the game in the country. He has a rich resume as the Toronto native is the former president of Monkey Knife Fight, which was the third-largest daily operator of fantasy sports in the United States. He is also the co-founder of the fantastic platform InGamer.
The official arrival of the individual sports betting option became a reality when the federal government of Canada enacted Bill C-218. The legislation was previously adopted in the Senate and amends the Criminal Code to remove the ban on individual sports betting. The enactment took place on August 28, 2021, and now the provinces will have to compile their own regulations on how the offer works.
Source: Lagerquist, Jeff “PointsBet Canada CEO Calls theScore ahead of Ontario Sports Betting Battle”, Yahoo finance, September 20, 2021