Lou Monaco for Bookies.com

By Lou Monaco | | 4 mins

PointsBet Names CEO for its Canada Sports Betting Operation

PointsBet Names CEO for its Canada Sports Betting Operation

PointsBet Canada named its new leader Wednesday.

The Australian gaming company named Scott Vanderwel chief executive officer for its Canadian operation. Vanderwel will report to PointsBet’s Global CEO, Sam Swanell, and will begin work on Aug. 17, according to a news release.

PointsBet has been making strong inroads into the North American market and has its U.S. headquarters in Denver. Canadian sports betting has a chance to become a huge market after the legislature in June amended the nation’s Criminal Code to allow single-game sports betting. It could launch by end of summer or early fall.

Previously in Canada, bettors could only place parlay bets. With the amendment to the Criminal Code, single-game sports betting will be permitted, and bettors could wager using sports betting apps.


CHECK OUT: Canadian Single-Game Sports Betting Q&A With Paul Burns


Vanderwel is the third executive addition in Canada for PointsBet, joining Nic Sulsky as chief commercial officer and Chantal Cipriano as vice president for legal, compliance and people.

“We’re thrilled that Scott has agreed to serve as the first CEO of PointsBet Canada and help us build a team and a business strategy that can serve the new Canadian market with the same sort of creativity and customer-focus that our clients in the U.S. and around the world have come to expect from PointsBet,” Swanell said in the release. “PointsBet is committed to creating products that fit the consumer’s needs, satisfy the important and necessary requirements of regulators, and enable fans to engage with their favorite sports in new and exciting ways. Scott and the team we are building in Canada will help us do just that.”

Previously, Vanderwel served as senior vice president for Rogers Communications, overseeing corporate strategy, operational improvement, and digital operations, the release said. Prior to his time with Rogers, Vanderwel led the Canadian practice for Monitor Group, a global business strategy consultancy (later acquired by Deloitte), and is current chair of the Ivey Alumni Network Board.

Distinctly Canadian Operation

“The sports-betting industry has demonstrated how it can entertain consumers, engage sports fans and deliver quality products, and PointsBet has been at the forefront of doing it the right way in markets around the world,” Vanderwel said in the release. ”We’re going to build a modern, responsible, distinctly Canadian operation and I can’t wait to get started.”

Along with Toronto-based The Score, U.S. sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel are expected to enter Canada’s market.

Ontario Moving Quickly

The Ontario government in early July announced the establishment of iGaming Ontario, a subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, as a legal entity to manage its gaming markets. It hopes to launch online gambling, especially sports betting, in 2021, perhaps in time for betting on the NFL.

Ontario, the most populous Canadian province and home to nearly 15 million people, has signaled there will be no cap on the number of online sportsbook operators that may compete for access, with no requirement to partner with an incumbent land-based gaming entity.

The Ontario sports betting and gaming market could generate total gross revenue of $777 million in its first year, according to the latest forecast by gambling compliance company VIXIO.

The latest report indicates that the Ontario market could grow to $1.46 billion by 2026, which would make it one of the largest online gambling markets in North America, on par with leading states like Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Michigan.

Once single-game sports betting is launched in Canada, it is expected that regulations will vary province-to-province in a similar way to how each state in the USA operates sports betting within its boundaries. For example, it is likely that regulations in Ontario will differ from Alberta sports betting regulations or Quebec sports betting regulations.

Currently, provincial lottery corporations rather than private operators control operations in Canada, and in the near-term, these lottery corporations are expected to implement their own online sportsbooks offering single-game betting in some provinces. The VIXIO report expects British Columbia sports betting and Manitoba sports betting, as well as Alberta, to come online in the near future, and to be offered through new lottery-run online sportsbooks.