Fanatics Sportsbook Looking To Expand to More Markets in 2024

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By:
Shauli Zacks
12/26/2023
Industry
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Highlights

  • Fanatics is in the process of taking over the PointsBet Sportsbook in 11 states
  • By utilizing all the brands owned by the Fanatics parent company, the sportsbook can offer bettors promos that others can’t.
  • It’s rumored that Fanatics is planning an IPO in 2024.

In August 2023, Fanatics Sportsbook significantly expanded its operations by acquiring the US Sportsbook division of PointsBet for $225 million. This strategic move not only accelerated the growth of the sports apparel company but also positioned it to compete with DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. The acquisition brings Fanatics into 11 additional states, marking a notable expansion in its sports betting footprint.

Regulatory Hurdles in Expansion 

The expansion, however, comes with its share of complexities. Due to varying regulations of USA sports betting laws in different states, Fanatics couldn't simply replace the PointsBet name and take over its operations. The transition is an ongoing process, with three different brand names currently operating under the Fanatics umbrella.

During this transition, PointsBet and Fanatics are functioning as separate entities. This separation is mainly due to regulatory requirements, with the long-term plan being to unify all sportsbooks under the Fanatics brand. As of now, the brand's operations vary across 14 states, each influenced by specific state regulations.

In six states – Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, New York, and Ohio – the sportsbook will continue to operate under the PointsBet name. Each of these states has its regulatory framework that hinders a complete rebrand. For instance, in New York, the sportsbook operator must own the license outright. Transferring the license from PointsBet to Fanatics isn’t viable; instead, the New York State Gaming Commission must undertake a comprehensive vetting process for any new operator.

Transitional Branding Across States 

In contrast, eight states are currently transitioning to the brand “PointsBet, a Fanatics Experience.” These states include Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. The transition in these states is subject to individual state regulatory reviews before the full rebrand to Fanatics Sportsbook can be finalized.

Additionally, Fanatics launched its branded sportsbook in Massachusetts, Ohio, Maryland, and Tennessee. Notably, Maryland hosts both the Fanatics Sportsbook and “PointsBet, a Fanatics Experience,” reflecting a phased branding strategy.

The PointsBet online casino will continue operating in New Jersey, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania under the PointsBet brand, maintaining its established presence in the online casino market.

Fanatics’ Growth Strategy and Leadership 

Looking ahead, Fanatics Sportsbook is setting its sights on becoming one of the top mobile sports betting platforms in the US. The company recently appointed Matt King, the former CEO of FanDuel, as its new chief executive. King brings a wealth of experience and a unique perspective, emphasizing Fanatics' distinct advantage due to its extensive involvement in various facets surrounding sports fans.

Fanatics, initially known for sports apparel, has expanded its portfolio to include Topps trading cards, Lids, and the Mitchell & Ness brand. King highlights the company's extensive database of over 95 million sports fans, positioning Fanatics as a sports-centric brand rather than solely a gaming brand. This distinction, King believes, grants Fanatics unique opportunities and a competitive edge in the sports betting market.

Fanatics uses its other brands to help with creating unique Sportsbook bonuses and promotions. For example, you can earn Fanatics FanCash on some bets, that can be used to buy merchandise. Another possibility if you bet big on a certain player, Fanatics can send a signed jersey from their collectibles division.

The diverse composition of the Fanatics boardroom, combining expertise from the sports gaming industry and other sectors like tech and entertainment, is poised to bring innovative ideas and promotions. These strategies aim to attract new players and solidify Fanatics’ position in the market.

Speculation of a Fanatics IPO in 2024 

Amidst this expansion and strategic growth, there is increasing speculation about a potential Initial Public Offering (IPO) for Fanatics in 2024. If Fanatics goes public, it would represent a major milestone for the company, potentially being one of the most significant IPOs of the year. With a current valuation of $31 billion, following a substantial capital raise, Fanatics appears well-positioned for a successful entry into the public market.

An IPO would likely infuse Fanatics with additional capital, which could be directed towards further enhancing its sports betting platform. This influx of funds is expected to lead to more sophisticated and user-friendly betting experiences, the development of advanced technological features, and a broader array of betting options. Moreover, Fanatics' entry into the public market would intensify competition among sports betting platforms, potentially resulting in more favorable odds, attractive promotions and bonuses, and innovative products for bettors.

Shauli Zacks is a big sports fan from Detroit, MI. He grew up playing hockey, basketball, football, and baseball with dreams of being a sports radio host. While that dream didn’t work out, he has enjoyed a long career as a content writer specializing in the gambling industry. Shauli has played at and reviewed many different online casinos and sportsbooks. He used his understanding of sports and casino games to write tutorials on how to play casino games, betting tips, and strategies. Although he left Detroit a few years ago, Shauli still watches the Lions, Pistons, Tigers, Red Wings, and Wolverines whenever he can. When he isn’t playing basketball or watching sports on TV, he likes to hang out with his wife and 5 kids. His hobbies include running, swimming, watching TV, and skiing when he gets the chance.