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 play-ma.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 Play MA, 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 Play MA. “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
Matthew Bain Avatar
Written by

Matthew Bain

Matthew Bain started as Content Manager at Play MA in 2022. Before that, he spent six years as a sports reporter and then deputy sports editor for the Des Moines Register, during which time he won nine statewide journalism awards, including the Genevieve Mauck Stoufer Outstanding Young Iowa Journalists Award. As deputy sports editor, Matthew oversaw the Register’s recruiting coverage while also innovating the outlet’s high school sports coverage. Matthew graduated from San Diego State and grew up in California, but he’s somehow a Boston Celtics fan. Long story. Matthew also led coverage of Prop 26 vs. Prop 27 in the California sports betting election battle for Catena Media.

View all posts by Matthew Bain