NorthStar Gaming (TSXV:BET) owns and operates a casino and sportsbook gaming platform in Canada under the name NorthStar Bets. Since its listing on the TSXV in March 2023, the company has seen significant success with its uniquely differentiated offering that combines high-quality sports journalism with betting/casino games. Specifically, NorthStar utilizes targeted content to engage, attract and retain sports bettors, which leads to higher retention rates and higher player values. The company has five trained journalists on staff who put out content every day related to sports betting to elevate the user experience.
NorthStar’s competitors may provide insights, but they are hosted within a different platform causing inconvenience to the end-users who must swap between apps. NorthStar’s proprietary Sports Insights editorial features, offered seamlessly to customers within the NorthStar Bets website and app, continue to be a strong differentiator and driver of value. In Q3 2023, NorthStar found that players who read Insights content have higher deposits on average than other players. This unique approach positions NorthStar as a convergence leader in media and regulated online sports wagering across Canada.
The company’s industry-leading tech stack is a result of its partnership with Playtech and Kambi, both reputable and established industry players. Playtech is the world’s largest and most trusted online gaming software supplier, while Kambi is the leading provider of premium sports betting and technology services. Moreover, Playtech is NorthStar’s largest shareholder, with more than C$22 million invested into the business since its launch, including a C$10-million infusion in October 2023. This further validates the strong potential for the rapidly growing online gaming and sports market in Canada.
The Ontario market itself is expected to grow nearly five times in the next 12 to 18 months, from C$540 million in Q2 2023 to C$2.6 billion in 2024. The potential for the legalization of online gaming and sports betting in other provinces in the future, would further add to the overall attractiveness and growth of the market. The overall market is expected to touch C$8.5 billion by 2026, with Ontario accounting for nearly 40 percent or C$3.3 billion of the market, according to PwC.
NorthStar Gaming, which started exclusively in the Ontario (NorthStarBets.ca) market, recently expanded its revenue potential and now has the ability to drive revenue outside of Ontario, following its May 2023 acquisition of Slapshot Media. Slapshot Media is the managed services provider to NorthStarBets.com, an iGaming site owned and operated by the Abenaki Council of Wolinak and licensed by The Kahnawake Gaming Commission.
With Ontario accounting for 39 percent of the Canadian population, NorthStartBets.com opens up the company to the remaining 61 percent of the Canadian market, an important catalyst for growth in customer base and revenue.
Recent Q3 2023 results show momentum in the business. NorthStar’s Q3 gross gaming revenue reached C$5.5 million, a 120-percent increase compared to the prior year quarter. The business’s revenue resulted from C$138 million in total wagers, up 140 percent compared to Q3 2022. This substantial increase in revenue reflects the company’s successful initiatives and the growing popularity of online gambling and sports betting in Canada. NorthStar Gaming’s omnichannel advertising and marketing arrangement with media company Torstar Corporation has been a driver of brand awareness and a contributor to customer acquisition.
The company has a strong leadership team led by CEO Michael Moskowitz, who has more than 25 years of experience in the electronics industry and was the previous chairman and CEO of Panasonic North America.
NorthStar Gaming is an operator of casino and sportsbook gaming platforms in Canada. The platform provides real-time news, statistics, analysis and scores directly in the betting environment along with the most popular online casino games. The company began its operations in the Ontario market. Its acquisition in May 2023 of Slapshot Media, a marketing and managed services provider for spreads.ca (now rebranded NorthStarBets.com), has enabled NorthStar to derive revenue outside Ontario throughout the rest of Canada, an important catalyst for growth.NorthStar is poised to capture a material share of the Canadian market, estimated to reach C$8.5 billion in total addressable market by 2026, with more than 60 percent of the market being outside of Ontario.Tier 1 partnerships with sports betting and technology providers such as Playtech and Kambi ensure customers with best-of-breed entertainment and betting experience.In addition to being a technology provider, Playtech is NorthStar’s largest shareholder, investing more than C$22 million into the business since launch. Playtech’s unparalleled expertise in the gaming industry will accelerate NorthStar’s growth and rapidly expand its user base.An experienced management team with local knowledge and insights targeting the Canadian audience leads the company.
It is available to players in Ontario. The main game offerings on Northstarbets.ca include a sportsbook with pre-live and live markets with monthly sports betting markets, and slot/live and jackpot casino games. Northstarbets.ca offers more than 500 casino games, including slots, blackjack, roulette and baccarat, and a variety of stakes and live dealer games.
Liver dealer games are among the most popular among users. A “live dealer” casino game has a real person as the dealer with the game streamed on video. The live video feeds of the dealers and the casino environment are streamed to the players’ computers or mobile devices in real-time. This technology enables players to see the game as it unfolds and interact with the dealer and other players.
It is available to players outside Ontario. NorthStarBets.com is a rebrand of Spreads.ca, an iGaming site owned and operated by the Abenaki Council of Wolinak, and is offered through NorthStar Gaming’s wholly owned subsidiary, Slapshot Media, a Canadian iGaming marketing and managed services provider.
Michael Moskowitz – CEO & Chairman
Michael Moskowitz is the chief executive officer and a founding partner of NorthStar. He is a veteran technology executive and transformative leader who has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the consumer, communications, gaming and technology industries. Moskowitz was the previous CEO and chairman at Panasonic North America, where he led the company’s successful business and growth strategy in delivering integrated technology solutions for businesses, government agencies and consumers across North America. Prior to that, he also served as president and CEO of XM Canada (XSR.TO) and president of Palm in the Americas International. He sits on the executive board of Consumer Technology Association (CTA/CES) which represents the largest and most innovative technology companies in North America. He previously served as a director of Mobilicity (Canada), Hussmann Corporation (USA), and Panasonic Avionics Corporation (USA).
Corey Goodman – Chief Development Officer, Counsel & Corporate Secretary
Corey Goodman has held a variety of senior executive roles in both legal and business development capacities for nearly 20 years, and most recently served as chief corporate development officer to Torstar Corporation. His focus is on mergers and acquisitions and partnerships in media, energy and regulated industries. He was also general counsel to three public issuers.
Chin Dhushenthen – Interim CFO
Chin Dhushenthen has held numerous executive positions across a wide variety of functions including finance, compliance, risk management and technology. His prior experience includes The Hunter Group, Azerty United Canada, Hydrogenics, and most recently at CAPREIT. Dhushenthen is a chartered professional accountant, with more than 25 years of proven experience impacting business growth and maximizing profits through contributions in financial management and productivity improvements.
Barry Shafran – Lead Director
Barry Shafran has extensive public and private company leadership and board experience in multiple industries, including financial services, online gaming and the service industry. He was the founder and CEO of Chesswood Group Limited, a financial services business, and he helped it scale from $10 million to $1 billion in revenues. Prior to Chesswood, he founded cars4U.com which was Canada’s first online auto retailer. On the iGaming front, he has worked with Cryptologic, an online gaming software provider. He was involved in the sale of Don Best (Las Vegas), a well-known odds-maker.
Vic Bertrand – Director
Vic Bertrand has more than 35 years of global business experience. From 1986 to 2014, he co-led MEGA Brands, transforming his family’s small local business into a vertically integrated, global toy leader with sales in over 100 countries. Bertrand is currently president of Stratinn, a real estate and investment firm. From 2019, he was CEO of ToysRUs CDA, where he restored profitability leading to an exit in 2021. In addition, he is an active advisor and director currently serving on the boards of CardioMech (Norway), Soundbite (Canada), and Spinal Stabilization Technologies (USA/Ireland).
Brian Cooper – Director
Brian Cooper has more than 30 years of experience in athlete representation, activation management, broadcast programming, executive-level property leadership, and sports marketing. He has been recognized for his imprint on the Canadian sports and entertainment landscape and was twice named one of the Globe and Mail’s Top 25 Power Players in Canadian Sports, Yahoo’s Top 25 most influential people in Canadian Sport, and was the first inductee to the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada’s Hall of Fame.
Chris Hodgson – Director
Chris Hodgson sits on the board of directors of many companies including GreenFirst, Helios Fairfax Partners Corporation, and Fairfax India Holdings Corporation. As a member of the Provincial Parliament, he served as Minister of Natural Resources, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, chairman of the Management Board of Cabinet, Deputy House Leader, and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. As chairman of the Management Board of Cabinet, Hodgson was responsible for all gaming operations in Ontario. He has a background in real estate development and municipal politics in Ontario’s Haliburton County and has a Bachelor of Arts from Trent University.
Dean MacDonald – Director
Dean MacDonald has had a long and successful career in executive roles at many companies. Previously, he served as executive chairman and president and chief executive officer of ClearStream Energy and its predecessor Tuckamore Capital, as president and managing partner of Cable Atlantic, chief operating officer of Rogers Cable, and as the chief executive officer of Persona, a TSX-listed cable and internet services company. He has management and investment experience in several industries, including energy, commercial real estate, marketing and communications. He has served on numerous public and private boards over the past three decades.
Chris McGinnis – Director
Chris McGinnis has over 20 years of experience in finance, accounting, investor relations, corporate strategy, M&A, and equity research. He is currently chief financial officer at Playtech, the leading online gambling technology company. Prior to joining Playtech, McGinnis was head of corporate strategy at software company Temenos. He started his career at Deloitte in Canada where he qualified as a chartered professional accountant. He has also worked in Equity Research for UBS in Canada and Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the UK. He is also a chartered financial analyst.
Alex Latner – Director
Alex Latner joined Playtech as general counsel in January 2017. Prior to that, Latner spent his entire career in the London office of international law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP (BCLP), now Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, where he was a partner in the corporate finance team from 2008 until he left the firm in 2017, having originally joined the firm as a trainee solicitor in 1998. At BCLP, Latner advised on a wide range of corporate finance transactions including flotations, secondary offerings and public and private M&A. Alex has extensive experience in the UK public markets, and acted for a number of listed UK and international companies and various investment banks and other corporate finance intermediaries across a broad range of industries, such as technology (including betting and gaming), real estate and the wider built environment. His clients included Playtech, which he had advised since before its original IPO on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market in 2006.
Mike Cormack – Head of Content
Mike Cormack has two decades of experience in Canadian sports media, holding various editorial leadership roles. His strengths are developing and leading successful multiplatform content teams and strategies. He was previously managing editor of The Athletic, Toronto, and managing editor of sportsnet.ca.