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US business sale helps PointsBet slash net loss in H1

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PointsBet Holdings reduced its net loss by 79.6% to AU$36.4m (£18.8m/€22.1m/US$23.9m) in the first half of its 2024 financial year following the divesture of its US business.

Fanatics Betting and Gaming (FBG) acquired PointsBet US in August 2023 for $225.0m. FBG is now phasing out the PointsBet brand across US states, with Iowa becoming the latest last week.

The PointsBet brand remains active in a handful of US states. FBG has completed the online rebrand in 12 states, while retail betting venues are active in both Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

While the sale meant PointsBet lost access to the growing US market, it allows it to focus on activities elsewhere. PointsBet remains active in Canada as well as in its native Australia.

Record H1 in Australia, Canada revenue rockets

For the six months to 31 December 2023, statutory revenue from continuing operations was AU$117.9m. This was 6.7% ahead of $95.3m in the previous year.

Growth, PointsBet said, was partly driven by a record performance in Australia. Revenue in the country climbed 6.7% to $101.7m, with strong activity across its core sports betting offering of NBA, NFL and football. This growth came despite a 4.1% drop in turnover in the country.

H1 also marked the first half in which Australia was EBITDA-positive for PointsBet. EBITDA in H1 hit $900,000, compared to a $20.2m loss in the previous year.

Turning to Canada, revenue rocketed 137.3% year-on-year to $15.9m. This comprised $9.5m in total igaming revenue, up 126.2%, and $6.3m in sports betting revenue, a rise of 152.0%. Sports betting growth was helped by a 17.4% rise in turnover, whereas for igaming, the new partnership with Strive Gaming helped improve PointsBet’s position in Canada.

PointsBet also noted the Canadian business is on track to achieve break-even EBITDA by the 2025 financial year. In H1, EBITDA loss was reduced from $19.4m to $12.0m.

Net loss shortens on back of revenue growth at PointsBet

Turning to costs, total operating expenses were reduced by 29.2% to $72.1m in H1. Spending was lower across all areas, with the main outgoing of sales and marketing being cut 30.2% to $42.4m.

Net finance costs amounted to $12.1m, leaving a pre-tax loss of $32.7m, compared to $53.6m in H1 of 2023. PointsBet did not pay tax but did account for $3.7m in loss from discounted operations in the US and Europe. In the previous year, this loss stood at $124.6m.

As such, net loss for H1 was reduced from $178.2m to $36.4m. In addition, EBITDA loss was cut from $49.9m to $20.6m.

PointsBet welcomes Lucas as new technology chief

Meanwhile, PointsBet has appointed Daniel Lucas as its new group chief technology officer. He will join the business on 1 September and replace Jerry Bowskill, who is stepping down following the FBG deal in August 2023.

Lucas takes on the role having served as global director of trading technology at Flutter for almost two years. Prior to this, he worked in various roles at SportsBet for nine years.

“We are very pleased that a senior executive of Dan’s quality and experience is joining PointsBet,” PointsBet group CEO Sam Swanell said. 

“Dan’s understanding of complex platform and trading operations, in particular algorithmic trading, risk and advanced analytics together with his strong people leadership skills, are valuable assets to PointsBet’s Australian and Canadian operations, as we continue to invest in our market-leading live betting and multi capability through Odds Factory.”

Swanell also paid tribute to the outgoing Bowskill. He said: “Jerry has made an outstanding contribution to PointsBet over his tenure leading our global technology organisation. He has been an integral part of the group executive leadership team and his experience and expertise has proven invaluable as we have planned for and executed the transition of our US business to Fanatics.

“I would like to thank Jerry for all he has done for PointsBet and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

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