PointsBet Banking on In-Play Wagering as Future of Sports Betting Industry

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PointsBet is going all-in on live betting.

PointsBet Chief Strategy Officer Eric Foote told Gaming Today on Wednesday that more than half of PointsBet’s total handle comes from live in-play bets. Foote expects that number to surge to 75% moving forward. 

“If you aggregated all sports, we’re a tad north of 50% right now and that continues to grow,” he said.  “We’re pretty confident just on the research we’ve done and the growth we’re going at — and seeing what’s happened over in Europe over the course of the last many years — that we’ll be at least 75% here within probably a two-year period.”

Foote stated the company’s goal succinctly: “We want to be the home of in-play betting.”  

PointsBet is positioning itself for future success with an increased emphasis on creating new micro markets for live betting.

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New In-Play Markets Coming for Golf  

PointsBet CEO Johnny Aitken revealed recently that the company’s betting handle on golf has increased by 10% since it entered the US market. 

PointsBet live betting, golf, Cameron Smith,
PointsBet wants to drive live-betting handle on golfers like Cameron Smith. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Live golf bettors in the states should keep an eye on emerging micro markets at PointsBet. Future prospects are bright when you consider the possibilities for each hole of a tournament. Begin by betting on the longest drive, continue with the shot closest to the pin, and end with a live bet on your player making or missing his putt.    

“It’s coming very soon for us,” Foote said. “If we’re doing something with the Golf Channel and NBC, we’ll have more extended markets for certain events. But we are a big part of the PGA Tour and are also working with IMG Arena very closely. We are close to releasing a new set of markets, data services, and streaming of par-3s.”   

This won’t apply exclusively to the PGA Tour but will extend to include majors and LPGA tournaments, along with Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup events. 

“There’s a full suite of golf services there,” Foote said. “We want to be that home of in-play betting. We want to be the leader in golf. 

“It’s not only just the handle and people betting on golf, it’s the type of customer that’s watching golf.”

Fast Forward to the Future

PointsBet has earned a reputation as an innovator in the industry by creating its unique PointsBetting form of wagering. The company’s pivot to live betting was galvanized by Susquehanna International Group becoming the largest shareholder in PointsBet with a $65 million deal last month.

Nobody is suggesting that pre-match bets are going away at sportsbooks, but PointsBet is banking on the creation of more in-play markets that will allow customers to engage with a game from start to finish.  

“I think creating that repetitive behavior within a game, our goal is to keep someone on the app as long as possible just like ESPN or anyone else in the media space,” he said. “Our goal is to keep continuing that engagement and that’s through having more markets.”

Foote cited a stat that bettors are eight times more likely to watch an event if they’re wagering on it. 

PointsBet currently offers “Lightning Bets” for the NFL and NBA. Live bettors can wager on micro outcomes such as how the current drive in football will finish or the next type of basket to be made in basketball.

Foote likes to invoke the term “sea of sameness” to describe the reality of the legalized sports betting industry four years after its inception in the US. Still in its infancy, the US market has much to learn from its predecessors in Europe and Australia, which is where PointsBet originated.  

“We’re only in the first and second innings of sports betting in the US, so there’s a lot of innings to make up,” Foote said. 

About the Author
Kris Johnson

Kris Johnson

Writer & Contributor
Kris Johnson is a Senior Writer at Gaming Today with more than 15 years of experience as a sports journalist. Kris' work has appeared in Sports Business Daily, Sports Business Journal, NASCAR Illustrated, and more. Kris also authored a sports betting novel entitled The Endgame.

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