PointsBet CEO Relishes New Competition In Crowded New Jersey Market

Written By Bart Shirley on February 13, 2019 - Last Updated on April 29, 2021

Australian sports betting company PointsBet debuted the ninth New Jersey sports betting app on Jan. 17. Needless to say, PointsBet CEO Johnny Aitken sounded pretty happy about it when he spoke with TheLines.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “It’s exciting just to take bets.”

Aitken said the PointsBet app is the fourth most downloaded of all New Jersey sports betting apps. In just a week, the application is already closing in on the iTunes Store‘s Top 100 sports apps.

PointsBet is not a standard sportsbook

Naturally, people are interested in new things. However, in the crowded New Jersey market, a garden-variety sportsbook might struggle to stand out after the initial interest.

Thankfully, PointsBet comes with its unique product. Its signature game, points betting, rewards players based upon the magnitude of the final margin of victory.

So, a player will win or lose a multiple of his or her stake in a points bet. The distance from the given line or total acts as a multiplier on the bettor’s stake.

For example, PointsBet has given the over/under for the margin of victory in the upcoming Super Bowl to be 10 points. Let’s say that a player wagers $10 on the over.

After the game, the final score is 36-28. Since the margin is only eight points, the player would lose $20, since he was wrong about the outcome by two points.

Conversely, let’s say the final score happened to be 40-28. In that case, the player would win $20, since he was correct about the outcome by two points.

Points betting has a learning curve, but it’s worth it

Needless to say, the concept of points betting is a new one to American sports bettors. Aitken acknowledged that getting players up to speed is one of the company’s goals.

“It’s an education piece — even more so in America (than Australia),” he said. “It’s a unique product. There is this sort of learning curve to it, so that’s a challenge for us moving forward.”

Nevertheless, Aitken felt confident that the product would quickly become a favorite for many players. The nature of the game promotes an environment that is both high-risk and high-reward.

Aitken mentioned that some professional bettors had already tried the signature product. He said they reported that it made their hearts pound for the first time in decades.

So, the appeal of such a game is clear. There is no such thing as garbage time with points betting. Even the beginning of the game warrants attention for players who have a points bet going.

“Everything matters,” Aitken said. “It elevates the watching experience.”

Aitken wants to shake things up in New Jersey

This elevation of the moment is symbolic of Aitken’s overall vision for the company. He wants a company that is both aggressive and anti-establishment. That attitude is part of the reason that one of PointsBet’s new ambassadors is NBA great Allen Iverson.

“(Iverson) embodies what PointsBet is all about,” Aitken said. “Going after the establishment. A slick, modern brand. Swagger.”

Aitken’s ethos is also why the company stood alone offering refunds to Saints bettors after the controversial NFC Championship Game. In fact, he said that PointsBet would continue to look for those opportunities to extend goodwill toward their clients:

“We (want) to be seen as the bookmaker that has the client’s back. I believe it will set us up for the long-term.”

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Bart Shirley

Bart Shirley is a writer who covers the online gambling and sports betting industry as well as a poker player from Houston, Texas. He has a master's degree in business administration from Texas Christian University and a degree in English from Texas A&M.

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