PointsBet Canada’s current CEO, Scott Vanderwel, is optimistic about the company’s chances of success in the newly regulated sports betting market in Canada. The company is more than well-positioned and prepared, according to the CEO, to take on competitors such as theScore when it comes to the country’s launch.
He previously run the company’s strategy office and worked with Rogers Media president Keith Pelley, thus the CEO has plenty of experience. In a stunning CA$5.2 billion agreement, Mr. Vanderwel helped the company in acquiring the rights to broadcast NHL games in Canada. He will now have to put his expertise into the competitive sports betting market of Canada.
Ready for the Competition
By the end of the year, PointsBet Canada will be well-prepared for Canada’s single-sport betting market as well as Ontario’s open online gaming market for private operators. Besides, Mr. Vanderwel, the company has hired Nic Sulsky, a gaming and fantasy sports veteran, and Dale Fallon, a digital product director for Rogers Sportsnet.
Due to fierce competition from big-name gaming operators in Ontario, Macquarie analyst Chad Beynon believes theScore will have a difficult time establishing itself in the local markets. The province will be the first in the country to offer an open market for industry operators, which will begin in December. It is expected that other provinces will follow the example.
According to Mr. Vanderwel, theScore is a great media company that is now learning to be a great sports company. However, he said that he believes in his own company’s product and is willing to go head-to-head with them. He explained that there will be five to eight companies with established brands and recognition in most markets, with PointsBet being one of them.
Mr. Vanderwel stated that any potential cooperation between Rogers Communications and the gaming company would be speculation based on his strong relationship with them. He also believes that the new market offers a lot of potential for the brand, and that there’s a chance to build relationships and engage Canadian fans.
Mr. Sulsky, a gaming veteran, was appointed to the position of chief commercial officer by PointsBet in June in order to prepare for the legalization of single-sports betting and the country’s upcoming gaming expansion. He has a rich resume, having previously served as the president of Monkey Knife Fight, the third-largest daily fantasy sports operator in the United States. He is also the co-founder of InGamer fantasy platform.
The official arrival of the single-sports betting option became reality when the federal government of Canada enacted Bill C-218 as a law. The legislation, which was previously passed by the Senate, amends the Criminal Code to remove the prohibition on individual sports betting. The enactment was signed into law on August 28, 2021, and now the provinces must compile their own regulations on how the offering will work.