SIG Sports Becomes Largest Shareholder of PointsBet

On Monday, Australian-based sportsbook PointsBet announced that it had sold nearly 13% of its holdings to a division of Susquehanna International Group (SIG) of Companies, making the US company the largest shareholder in PointsBet. SIG’s purchase came in at $65.5 million (94.2 million AUD) and gave the company a 12.8% ownership stake at a value of $1.43 ($2.43 AUD) per share.

Benefits of SIG

Brett Paton, chairman of PointsBet, called SIG Sports a “visionary investor” and noted the company’s qualifications in analytical trading which will help PointsBet expand its “North America operations as [they] seek to lead in in-play betting and enhancing the overall customer experience.”

Customers will reportedly experience significant benefits from this partnership. According to PointsBet CEO Sam Swanell, the deal gives PointsBet the opportunity to give its customers “higher wagering limits, less price suspension, faster bet placements, and improved value for bettors.”

Nellie Analytics and the In-Play Product

SIG Sports subsidiary Nellie Analytics will partner with PointsBet to develop that in-play product and “provide sports analytics and quantitative modeling services,” per a release. Nellie Analytics was founded in 2016 as the sports betting/trading arm of SIG Sports, and it’s based in Ireland.

The Nellie Analytics team will use its “quantitative approach” to accelerate the company’s product-led strategy and North American reach. The initial agreement will be with a free-of-charge nine-month exploratory period between the two companies before they agree to a long-term partnership.

Rebuffed Offer from Matthew Tripp

The announcement of this purchase comes a week after a report that PointsBet had rebuffed an offer from NewsCorp and Australian bookmaker Matthew Tripp of $153.1 million (220 million AUD) for the company’s Australian operations. Analysts estimate PointsBet’s Australian market capitalization to be worth around $433 million, so that offer was wildly optimistic.

PointsBet had also been linked to rumors of a potential acquisition by Fanatics who is seeking entry into the sports betting industry. Fanatics has expressed its goal to be a “global digital platform for sports,” according to the chief commercial officer for betting and gaming Ari Borod.

A Partnership Years in the Making

According to SIG co-founder Jeff Yass, the financial giant spent several years waiting and evaluating the US sports betting market before finding its eventual partner. “We believe PointsBet has great potential for future growth and success in the North American sports betting market and SIG has both the analytics and capital to help realize that potential,” Yass said.

Yass also expressed that the “skills it takes to be a good options trader are the same skills it takes to be a good bookmaker,” so the company is confident its financial background will allow it a unique launch point to impact the sports betting industry.

PointsBet launched in the United States in 2018 and currently operates in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Virginia. Last week, it applied for a license in Ohio which is set to launch online sports betting on January 1, 2023. PointsBet also operates in Ontario, Canada’s largest province, and the first with legal single-game sports betting.