Late last month, NBCUniversal and the PointsBet online/mobile sportsbook announced a deal in which the former would acquire a nearly 5% stake in the latter, a high-profile transaction that is expected to make PointsBet an even more serious competitor in the nascent U.S. online gambling market.
Late last week, the Indiana Gaming Commission updated its list of sports betting registrants to include NBCUniversal Media LLC, a requirement for involvement in the regulated sports gaming market
Under the reported roughly $500 million deal, PointsBet entered into a five-year partnership with NBCUniversal that designates the company as the official sports betting partner of NBC Sports. In exchange, NBCUniversal is snagging a 4.99% equity stake in the Australia-based bookmaker that is currently live in three U.S. states: Indiana, Iowa, and New Jersey.
PointsBet’s U.S. operations are based out of Jersey City, N.J.
Indiana was one of PointsBet’s early states. The legal and regulated book launched in March as the sixth of its kind to hit Hoosier State cyberspace.
In July, the most recent month providing figures for the state’s nearly year-old sports wagering market, PointsBet had under 2% of the statewide online/mobile handle share, trailing far behind leaders DraftKings and FanDuel, which both launched in October 2019.
PointsBet had about $1.1 million in handle of the more than $64.5 million statewide during July.
The NBCUniversal deal is being eyed as a way for PointsBet to eventually reach 10% market share in the U.S. legal sports gaming space, according to a 60-page deal presentation. PointsBet sees a future in which it has 1 million U.S. active sports bettors on its platform.
In Indiana, PointsBet secured access to the market via a deal with Penn National Gaming and its Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg. PNG, which will eventually launch a Barstool-branded online/mobile sportsbook, has three sports gambling skins in the Hoosier State, just like its rival casino operators.
The next state in which PointsBet goes live could be Michigan, which is expected to authorize online gambling launches in either late 2020 or early 2021.
While the NBCUniversal deal is for sports gambling, PointsBet is also a player in the online casino space, though New Jersey is currently the only state that PointsBet is live in that allows that form of gambling. Indiana is expected to consider online casino legislation in upcoming legislative sessions.