Fanatics expanding in the US gambling market
One of the leading iGaming companies, BetFanatics are looking to grow their influence in the American online gambling markets by acquiring Tipico Sportsbook to access state sports betting. Michael Rubin, the chief executive of BetFanatics may be divesting from his major sports team the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils.
However, his company BetFanatics are only getting more interested in sports, investing to access the Colorado and New Jersey sports betting markets. Our newest intel says that Tipico also has entered the Ohio sports betting market, which experts believe to be one of the best markets in the U.S.
Who are BetFanatics?
BetFanatics are the new iGaming product from sports clothing brand Fanatics. It is very new, with the copyright and trademark claims for BetFanatics being only registered May of this year! At the moment it is only an app with a gambling platform as well as functionality for fantasy sports. However, it seems that Fanatics are looking to expand their new gambling brand across the US.
Fanatics have been swift to command a presence in the iGaming markets. In particular, they have brought in former FanDuel CEO Matt King to help them develop the BetFanatics brand. He will be working in a management team that includes Michael Rubin, the existing CEO who has been incredibly successful through sports ownership.
How Tipico Offers Fanatics a Route into Sports Betting:
Tipico does represent a fairly small player in the sports betting market. In particular, they have licenses for sports betting in Colorado and New Jersey, just like the new casino, Playstar Casino. Fanatics seem to be gambling on a growing company though.
Tipico’s website implies that they will be looking to expand across the rust belt into the sports betting market in Iowa, Indiana and Ohio. The opportunity may be somewhat limited at the moment, but Fanatics is certainly looking to grow with Tipico. Even more, its potential to offer Fanatics a route into as many as 5 different states would represent a significant start to Fanatics sports betting service.
Price, rather than opportunity, seems to be the sticking point at the moment. Fanatics clearly see the value of attaching to a growing gambling brand, however at the moment they are trying to maximise the value of this purchase. These discussions are still going on behind the scenes. Some though have suggested both parties have reached an impasse around the price point of the deal. Nevertheless, with Tipico or not, Fanatics have been looking to expand throughout the US anyway.
Maryland Gaming License Application:
Fanatics is also looking to develop their own licenses, gaining partial access to the Maryland lottery. This is the first step in gaining a Maryland sports betting gaming license, though they still need approval from the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission. Nevertheless, CEO Rubin is confident, suggesting he will soon “be taking bets on the Sixers”. The iGaming company will need a gaming partner for their launch though.
Pennsylvania Gaming License Application:
Additionally, Fanatics is aiming to gain access to the Pennsylvania gambling scene. Obviously, their past links with the Philadelphia 76ers can produce a strong base for sports betting in the state.
Currently, they are applying to the Pennsylvania Gaming Board. They hope to set up an online casino in PA, sports betting outlet and three affiliates in their application. This would represent a major expansion and enable even more Americans to access the Fanatics iGaming services.
Rubin Sells his NBA Stakes:
As mentioned, BetFanatics CEO Michael Rubin has begun to divest from his sporting ownership. Previously a 10% minority shareholder of the Controlling company of the Philadelphia Sixers, Rubin seemingly has begun divesting in the interest of growing his gambling company’s reach.
It suggests an incredible confidence on the part of Rubin, as selling his shares implies the company will be successful in its aims to expand into American sports betting. Almost certainly Fanatics has begun the process of reaching across the United States.
Rubin is required to sell his shares as owners in the NBA cannot have control in gambling platforms. His sales now implies he is incredibly likely to see his gambling platform gain access to offer NBA betting and other sports bets. Alongside selling his ownership of the Sixers, he is doing the same for the Devils in the NHL. At the very least both sales will raise a lot of capital for Rubin to further invest into BetFanatics.
Fanatics as a whole has been growing its investment base though! In their last funding round they raised $1.5 billion. Rubin has been aiming to utilize this funding to develop their new gambling services. He also has been bringing in new investors, including hip-hop icon Jay-Z, who is joining BetFanatics as a Vice-Chairman.
Rubin has overall been incredibly confident about the potential for Fanatics to grow massively in iGaming. “We can be the No. 1 player in that business in 10 years.” He feels that the company’s strategic advantage as a leading player in sports clothing will allow them to penetrate the gambling market very swiftly.