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Canadian pensions invested in sports-betting analysis

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The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is preparing to make a move to invest in a firm that specializes in sports-gambling data.

The company in question is known as Sportradar. Based in Switzerland, it functions by helping sports leagues get correct information that pertains to wagering.

At SportRadar’s home page they state that their “extensive data coverage includes over 40 sports, 800 leagues and 400,000 annual events.” Among their official partnerships are the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, and NASCAR. SportRadar lists Mark Cuban and Michael Jordan as members of the advisory board.

The CPPIB having a relationship with SportRadar might strike some as a strange. Some business/government background information might help readers understand the relationship.

If you are retired or of old age in Canada then there are two sources of income via public funds. Those sources are Old Age Security and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

Automatic and non-elective deductions fund the latter as payroll employees in Canada are required to deduct “CPP” off of every staff member’s paycheque or direct deposit. These payments are small relative to the entire payment; for a low-wage earner, they are only about 6.7%. The payments go to the Canada Pension Plan Fund.

The CPPIB is a crown corporation in Canada that was founded in very late 1997. Its function is to manage hundreds of billions of dollars of assets in the CPP Fund. A businessinsider.com article from late 2017 mentions the CPP Fund having a value of $328.2 billion dollars.

The income deductions are the steady stream of funding for the CPP Fund. But the CPPIB aims to increase the value of this fund through investing.

It’s here that the CPPIB and SportRadar are in bed together. Basically, a crown corporation in Canada has invested funds, on behalf of millions of Canadians, into a company closely linked to sports betting. This is likely due to the legalisation of sports betting that is currently going on in America.

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