PointsBet has hired a former Rogers Communications executive to head its Canadian team.
As CEO of PointsBet Canada, Scott Vanderwel will steer the Australian bookmaker’s Canadian business. Before signing with PointsBet, Vanderwel was a senior vice president for the national communications giant. He also spent 13 years at Monitor Deloitte.
Vanderwel takes the helm of PointsBet Canada on August 17. He’ll be reporting to PointsBet Global CEO Sam Swanell.
“We’re thrilled that Scott has agreed to serve as the first CEO of PointsBet Canada,” Swanell said in a release.
“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.”
Vanderwel’s appointment comes on the heels of other Canadian additions, including Nic Sulsky and Chantal Cipriano. While Sulsky fills the role of PointsBet’s chief commercial officer, Cipriano moves into that of vice president, legal, compliance, and people.
A northern touch
In varying roles at Rogers, Vanderwel led corporate strategy and transformations and digital operations and processes. At Monitor Group, he was responsible for Canadian operations, eventually becoming an associate partner and global account manager. He’s also chairman of the Ivey Alumni Network Board of Western University’s Ivey Business School.
“I’m excited to take my decades of corporate experience and apply it to building an elite organization ready to serve customers and help responsibly jump-start a brand-new industry in Canada,” Vanderwel said.
Sulsky, in a recent interview with Legal Sports Report, emphasized PointsBet’s commitment to hiring homegrown talent.
“The sports fan in Kelowna, British Columbia is entirely different than the sports fan in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island,” said Sulsky.
“You can’t just learn that from a book and talking to people. That’s why building a best-in-class sportsbook in Canada and having real Canadians working on it is one of the ways to separate us. We are going to build a distinct product. We know it’s not just about having hockey featured. There are subtleties to being Canadian other operators don’t have.”
Shooting for the north star
While major sportsbooks vie for a share of the burgeoning US market, many are starting to look to Canada too.
With nearly 38 million people and the recent legalization of single-event sports betting, opportunities abound. And many experts think the Canadian sports betting market could quickly become a multi-billion dollar industry.
Operators are particularly interested in Ontario’s plans to open a competitive market that includes private operators. With nearly 15 billion people, the province will be Canada’s largest market and the 5th largest in North America.
“The sports-betting industry has demonstrated how it can entertain consumers, engage sports fans and deliver quality products,” said Vanderwel. “PointsBet has been at the forefront of doing it the right way. We’re going to build a modern, responsible, distinctly Canadian operation, and I can’t wait to get started.”