PointsBet Taps Monkey Knife Fight Executive as First Hire in Canada

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Nic Sulsky, president of Monkey Knife Fight, is leaving the daily fantasy operator to join PointsBet as the company prepares to build out a team, and a sports betting product, in Canada.

Sulsky will start next week as chief commercial officer for PointsBet Canada. He’ll be the Australian bookmaker’s first hire in the country, a step in a wider plan to do in Canada what PointsBet has already done in the U.S.: build a distinct homegrown operation that pairs the tech capabilities of the global platform with local expertise on the ground.

Canada has 38 million people—roughly the population of California—and its House of Commons recently advanced a new bill that would legalize single-event wagering across the country. PointsBet is hoping to get an early start on readying a product should that bill pass the Senate before it adjourns at the end of June.

“This is an international company embracing what it means to be Canadian, and its commitment to providing a made-in-Canada platform for Canadian fans was the deciding factor for me in taking on this role,” said Sulsky, who was born in Montreal and has lived in Toronto for the past two decades. “Now that the legalization of single-game sports betting is close to final approval by the federal government, I’m looking forward to launching a truly Canadian platform that will not only provide good jobs in an exciting industry, but also offer Canadian fans an entertaining and engaging experience like no other.”

A long-time gaming veteran with executive roles at InGamer, Sportech and DraftDay, Sulsky helped launched Monkey Knife Fight in 2018, and oversaw its rapid expansion at the forefront of a new crop of daily fantasy start-ups. Monkey Knife Fight was sold to Bally’s Corp. in January in an all-stock deal worth approximately $90 million.

With Canada’s sports betting laws on the verge of major changes, he’ll help shape the direction of PointsBet’s Canada product, and also source partnerships with local sports teams and media companies, a playbook similar to what’s unfolded in the U.S. after the Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on sports betting.

Though estimates vary, most projections for annual gross gaming revenue from a mature Canadian market are in the billions. A recent PwC study concluded that Canadian sports betting would be in the $1.25-$2 billion range within two years of legalization.

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