Why PointsBet Sportsbook Chose Not To Launch In Massachusetts

Written By Matthew Bain on March 1, 2023
Why PointsBet isn't launching in Massachusetts, from playma.com

PointsBet caused a bit of a shock last week when it withdrew its application for an online sportsbook in Massachusetts. In an email to PlayMA, the fast-rising sportsbook and online casino company revealed why it chose not to launch in MA.

“We have chosen this path to emphasize our continued focus on our 14 live states of the US (plus Ontario) and how we can best optimize those markets which provide an immense (Total Addressable Market) for us to go after,” Patrick Eichner, PointsBet director of communications, told PlayMA. “We would like to thank the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for their consideration of our application, conducting extensive hearings, and deeming PointsBet suitable for licensure ahead of the launch of legalized sports wagering in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

While there is still plenty of money to be made in sports betting, it is a low-margin business. And with FanDuel and DraftKings expected to dominate the Massachusetts online sports betting market, PointsBet clearly felt its investment in the Bay State wouldn’t yield a big enough return to make it worth it. That certainly makes sense.

What PointsBet leaving Massachusetts means

Still, it’s eye-opening to see PointsBet and BetRivers, two of the top sportsbook operators outside the Big Four (DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars), not even attempt to compete in Massachusetts. It’s a reflection of the current state of US sports betting. The rich get richer. It’s also a reflection on how there’s more money to be made in online casinos.

It’s not hard to read between the lines. PointsBet’s decision to not invest in Massachusetts not only allows it to invest in states where it’s currently operating. It also allows the company to invest more in its online casino product. In the long run, that product will make more money.

Want proof? In its Q3 investor presentation, BetRivers revealed its online casino customers spent 6.4 times as much as its sportsbook customers. That trend is not unique to BetRivers, at least outside DraftKings and FanDuel.

Photo by Shutterstock.com
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Matthew Bain

Matthew Bain is currently the Content Manager at Catena Media’s national online lottery site, PlayiLottery. He used to be the News Content Manager at Catena Media, overseeing news content for the network’s highest-priority regional sites. Massachusetts is a young, promising gambling market, so PlayMA was one of his focuses. Prior to joining Catena Media in 2022, Matthew won 10 statewide and national journalism awards during six years as a reporter and editor for the USA TODAY Network. Matthew's work primarily appeared in the Des Moines Register, but he was also featured in the Detroit Free Press, Indianapolis Star, Arizona Republic, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and USA TODAY. Throughout his career, Matthew's bylines have also appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Seattle Times, and Orange County Register.

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