Shots Fired: PointsBet CEO Has Sights Set On The Canadian Market

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on September 26, 2021 - Last Updated on December 10, 2021
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Scott Vanderwel and PointsBet are ready to take on Canadian sports betting.

PointsBet Canada’s newly appointed CEO is quite confident about the company’s chances of success in the soon-to-be regulated igaming scene.

And he’s putting years of knowledge and experience to work to lead the company forward.

“The sports-betting industry has demonstrated how it can entertain consumers, engage sports fans and deliver quality products,” said Vanderwel back in July. “And PointsBet has been at the forefront of doing it the right way in markets around the world,” he added.

“We’re going to build a modern, responsible, distinctly Canadian operation, and I can’t wait.”

Winning advantage for the company

Before becoming CEO, Scott Vanderwel oversaw PointBet’s strategy office.

And before that, he was a senior VP for Rogers Communications. In 2013, he helped the company acquire the rights for the broadcasting of NHL games in Canada. It was a stunning deal worth CA$5.2 billion.

PointsBet’s fourth hire in Canada, Vanderwel, is optimistic his team’s knowledge of Canadian sports will give the company a competitive advantage.

He also thinks the new market offers excellent potential for his company. And he believes there is an opportunity to build relationships and engage Canadian bettors.

PointsBet Canada has also recently recruited Nic Sulsky, Dale Fallon, and Chantal Cipriano. Sulsky is a Canadian gaming and fantasy sports expert, while Fallon waa a digital product director for Rogers’ Sportsnet brand. Cipriano, a lawyer, was appointed as VP – legal, compliance & people.

With four igaming veterans onboard – Vanderwel, Sulsky, Fallon, and Cipriano – PointsBet is ready to launch its market-leading products and services in Canada.

“PointsBet is committed to creating products that fit the consumer’s needs, satisfy the important and necessary requirements of regulators, and enable fans to engage with their favourite sports in new and exciting ways,” said global CEO Sam Swanell. “Scott and the team we are building in Canada will help us do just that.”

PointsBet is a world-leading igaming operator with a significant presence in both Australia and the US. ​​The company’s intent now is to launch its products and services in Canada.

Ready for the Competition

The passage of Bill C-218 last month allowed commercial operators to apply for licenses and enter local markets in Canada.

On that note, Chad Beynon, a New York-based analyst with Macquarie Capital, expects an intensely competitive market.

Due to the fierce competition in Ontario, Beynon believes theScore (Canada’s home team) will have a tough time establishing itself in the local markets. He anticipates that renowned sportsbooks like DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars Entertainment will dramatically outspend theScore on marketing and promotion.

“Acquiring customers is all about marketing dollars and losing money right now,” Beynon told Yahoo Finance Canada. “A lot of companies are willing to lose hundreds of millions of dollars. That’s one thing theScore isn’t willing to do right now… I think that’s one of the reasons why their market share is where it is.”

Vanderwel acknowledged that theScore is a great media company becoming a great sports betting company, too. But, he believes PointsBet is ready to go head-to-head with the competition.

He’s confident there will be five to eight established companies operating in Ontario with brand recognition. And that PointsBet will be one of them.

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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina is a Toronto-based online gambling writer who holds a master's degree in journalism. Before joining PlayCanada, she was part of the AskGamblers crew where she reported about the world of online casinos and interviewed numerous iGaming experts. Being in the industry for 5 years, she became an expert in online slots.

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