PointsBet Virginia became the 11th and most recent online sportsbook in Virginia following its launch last December.
Other operators got quite a head start on PointsBet, with most sportsbooks getting the go-ahead in early 2021. However, the delay isn’t stopping the newest VA sportsbook from setting lofty goals in the commonwealth.
In an interview with PlayVirginia, PointsBet Chief Marketing Officer Kyle Christensen said the company hopes its Virginia product will garner a 10% market share.
During the first year of Virginia sports betting, sports bettors generated a handle of $3.2 billion. A 10% market share would equate to the company handling $320 million worth of bets in 2022. Those numbers will be larger if Virginia’s total handle increases as the market matures in 2022.
But those types of goals won’t be easily achieved. Especially in a market as competitive as Virginia.
With 11 sportsbooks operating within its borders, VA has some of the most recognized brands in sports betting. DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook already established themselves months before PointsBet launched.
However, Christensen thinks that the company can still meet expectations, regardless of the competition.
PointsBet Virginia is spending smarter than its counterparts
Instead of trying to keep up with the deep pockets of the larger players in the space, Christensen will focus his marketing efforts on customers PointsBet will retain.
“We continue to strive for our 10% market share goal,” Christensen said. “We are really focusing on our core consumer. In a world where the DraftKings and FanDuels of the world are really spending a large amount on promotional aspects to bring in a user base, we continue to focus on our core consumer, and ultimately, we think we’ll deliver a market share of a high-quality value.”
In other words, PointsBet will do more with less.
As Christensen said:
“As a CMO, I like to think we are spending in a very disciplined manner to bring in the right quality of customers that have a lifetime value. Whereas maybe DraftKings and FanDuel are going for the larger volume play. Each has its own benefits and its own downside. I feel confident in our strategy moving forward to get that 10% market share.”
What made Virginia appealing?
Before its December launch in Virginia, PointsBet was already operating in seven other US states. Shortly after rolling out in Virginia, PB officials added New York to the list.
With a product in the Empire State, as well as New Jersey and Michigan, PointsBet has many of the largest US markets in its portfolio. But why did PointsBet want to get licensed in Virginia as opposed to other states?
“At the end of the day, you have a place with a surrounding metro area that has such an influence on the East Coast itself and being the 12th most populous state … it just made sense across a lot of business objectives,” Christensen said.
Here are the states PointsBet is currently serving:
- New York
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
That list will continue to grow as the company continues its expansion efforts across the country.
Partnership with Colonial Downs got PointsBet Virginia off the blocks quickly
Christensen was also quick to point to the company’s partnership with Colonial Downs as a major reason for gaining access to the state. Christensen thought the Virginia-based racetrack was a major reason for their immediate success.
Furthermore, he felt that the superiority of the PointsBet technology would drive users to the site.
“They have an extensive database and trusted brand that they built in Virginia,” Christensen said of the partnership. “Partnering with them and then promoting what we think is our leading tech and the ability for users to come in and place live in-game betting gave us a really strong start.”
Additionally, having NBA Hall of Famer and Virginia native Allen Iverson representing Colonial Downs didn’t hurt either.
The dark cloud over Virginia sports betting
The lone downside to Virginia is the betting ban on in-state college events. The state is saturated with high-level college athletics and the die-hard fans that come with it.
As a result, the ban is costing both operators and the state government large chunks of revenue.
But PointsBet isn’t focused on the things it can’t control. Instead, execs are just trying to implement their business plan to the best of their ability.
“We don’t really comment on specific legislation,” said Jeff Alstadter, director of communications and public relations for PointsBet. “We are aware of what’s going on there, and we are just happy to have a license in Virginia.”