Fanatics In Process of Obtaining Licensing in Pennsylvania via PointsBet Transfer

Grant Mitchell
Grant Mitchell
USA Legal Betting Casino


  • Fanatics bought PointsBet’s North American assets for $225 million
  • Fanatics still need interim authorization before it can launch in PA
  • Fanatics aims to launch in as many states as possible during NFL season

Fanatics began the transfer of PointsBet’s licensing in Pennsylvania last week and, when complete, will have access to the PA market.

The Pennsylvania Control Gaming Board (PGCB) already approved the transfer in ownership between the two companies, which agreed on a $225 million sale that saw Fanatics acquire the rights to PointsBet’s North American assets. The transfer happened without any additional discussion.

Neither Fanatics nor the PGCB provided an official launch date for Fanatics as it still has one hurdle left to clear—but it is taking the appropriate steps to reach operational status in Pennsylvania this football season, just as it intended.

Upcoming plans

Doug Harbach, communications director for the PGCB, said that Fanatics still need interim authorization from the PA executive director before it can fully launch. It would also need to sign a Statement of Conditions and Indemnification.

PointsBet is licensed in 14 states—meanwhile, Fanatics is only operational in four, which is why it set an aggressive timeline of launching in multiple states during the NFL season. 

Of the states Fanatics now has available to it (following the purchase of assets), Pennsylvania is one of the most prominent. It represents one of the five most influential legal sports betting markets in the country and has a strong sporting infrastructure, with professional teams such as the Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia 76ers, and others.

Pennsylvania produced a betting handle of over $7 billion in 2022 and generated over $650 million in sportsbook revenue. FanDuel claimed a majority of that, followed by DraftKings, BetMGM, and other top sportsbooks.

PointsBet will relinquish assets in three states at a time on a rolling basis until it has completed the full transfer. Fanatics’ acquisition process is expected to begin with three states (potentially Pennsylvania) before the end of the month.

Fanatics wants to be up and running in as many states as possible before the end of the year. It also stands to gain licensing in marquee betting states such as New York, New Jersey, and Ohio, each of which regularly produces monthly betting handles in excess of a billion dollars.

Fanatics spreads its wings

The emergence of Fanatics in the sports betting market initially went against the grain, though that has been mitigated by the creation of PENN Entertainment and Disney’s joint venture ESPN Bet, a soon-to-launch online sportsbook branded after the Worldwide Leader in Sports.

Fanatics has been busy in the acquisition market recently, whether it be with Topps’ trading card catalog, apparel company Mitchell & Ness, or several other catalogs.

Its ramped-up efforts in the sports betting scene come at a time when many other companies are cutting costs via fewer promotions or employee layoffs, and when some are withdrawing from the market entirely. It’s utilizing an all-in approach that will increase the competition in each state where it secures licensing.

Fanatics can expect roadblocks before it enters other states. New York State Gaming Commission Chairman Brian O’Dwyer said during a May meeting that it will not be able to simply transfer the PointsBet license and gain jurisdiction in New York, rather it will have to undergo a full review and receive approval from the commission.

Wherever Fanatics is able to launch, it will offer a rewards system called Fancash that offers a unique take to traditional customer loyalty programs seen at sportsbooks. Fancash allows users to accumulate credits they can use to place wagers, or they can transfer them to Fanatics’ online marketplace and use them to buy team memorabilia along with other items.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.