PointsBet, Genius Sports Streaming Deal May Be Sign of Future

PointsBet, Genius Sports Streaming Deal May Be Sign of Future

A deal just announced between sports book operator PointsBet and interational sports services provider Genius Sports Group is a harbinger of where U.S. sports wagering is headed.

As a result of the PointsBet-Genius Sports deal announced Friday, PointsBet will have access to live streaming of sports events along with accompanying data that will allow PointsBet customers to wager on the games as those games are occurring.

RELATED: Q&A With PointsBet’s Ron Shell

Such a move is a further evolution of in-play wagering in the U.S., a wrinkle in sports betting that is likely to accelerate the velocity of wagering for fans and add to the bottom lines of bookmakers and their partners. The deal makes PointsBet the first U.S. operator to sign on with Genius Sports’ Streaming product.

PointsBet customers in New Jersey, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Colorado can watch the live streams of events on the PointsBet app and website, and wager while the events unfold.

Currently, the live streaming that will be offered will be “content” (meaning games) being played at off-peak times. That strategy will “allow PointsBet to drive handle and retention around-the-clock, including while the major leagues are out of action,” according to a PointsBet-Genius Sports news release.

No Major US Sports — Yet

According to the release, the games initially being offered for televised real-time, in-play betting will not be of the U.S. “major league” variety. But as a PointsBet executive pointed out, this early stage of such betting is ”the tip of the iceberg” for the gambling company. The same could be said for the entirety of American sports wagering.

"The average U.S. sports bettor currently shows almost a perfect 50/50 split of placing bets prior to the start of competition versus placing bets in-play,” said Ron Shell, vice president for Customer & Insights at PointsBet USA. “Industry experts and the PointsBet team agree that wagering will trend more and more toward in-play as the U.S. market matures — a natural shift given the consistent overlap of U.S. sporting events, as well as the structure of U.S. sports allowing for micro markets like the next 'at bat' in baseball or the 'next drive' in football.”

It is commonly reported that in-play wagering is estimated to make up 70% of sports wagering in Europe. So far, the American market is far behind that number, strongly hinting that there is almost certain potential for substantial growth.

"We're thrilled to launch Streaming with our first U.S. customer,” said Bill Anderson, senior vice president U.S. at Genius Sports Group. “Offering a unique and differentiated betting experience has allowed PointsBet to grow impressively in the U.S. over the last two years. With competition fierce, standing out in the market is more important now than ever, and our Streaming service provides an exciting and powerful way to do that."

In late August, PointsBet announced a five-year agreement to become the official sports betting partner of NBC Sports. As part of the agreement, PointsBet will have year-round media and marketing opportunities across NBC Sports platforms, including NBCSN, the Golf Channel and regional sports networks, according to a news release.

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