PointsBet hires former Monkey Knife Fight president to support Canadian betting push

PointsBet is making preparations to enter Canada which is in the process of legalising sports betting.

On Thursday, the Australian sportsbook operator PointsBet announced that it has hired former Monkey Knife Fight (MKF) president Nic Sulsky to lead its expansion into Canada.

This comes after the US betting giant BetMGM partnered with ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky ahead of its entry into Canada.

Sulsky to lead Canadian operations

Sulsky, who is a Toronto native, will take on the role of chief commercial officer for PointsBet’s Canadian operations, starting on Tuesday.

This marks the operator’s first-ever senior hire in Canada and marks the first step towards building a leadership team to oversee Canadian operations.

Prior to joining MKF, Sulsky co-founded an in-game fantasy platform called InGamer, which launched in 2010 in partnership with CBC’s Hockey Night.

Speaking on the hire, PointsBet US chief executive Johnny Aitken said: “PointsBet is excited to welcome Nic to the team, adding strong talent that knows how to build first-class gaming brands while possessing a deep understanding of the Canadian landscape.

“With legislation now before the Canadian Senate, our hope is that this will be the first of many Canadian hires as we work to ensure our Canadian leadership team both understands and reflects the unique characteristics of the Canadian sports environment and its millions of loyal fans.”

Sulsky said: “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.”

The sports betting situation in Canada

Canadian lawmakers are currently considering a bill that would legalise single-event betting in the country.

After first being introduced in early 2020, Bill C-218 was reintroduced in November 2020 by Canada’s Minister of Justice David Lametti as “An Act to amend the Criminal Code (single event sport betting).”

The bill was sponsored by Conservative MP Kevin Waugh, and would repeal paragraph 207(4)(b) of Canada’s Criminal Code which states that sports wagering is only legal if bettors bet on at least three or more games simultaneously.

In April, the bill was approved by the House of Commons and then last week it passed its second reading in the country’s Senate. The measure is currently with the Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce.

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