Fanatics, which has been beta-testing its mobile sportsbook in Ohio, plans to launch the full version of its platform to all eligible customers in the state on Monday. The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
The mobile sportsbook will also officially go live in Tennessee on Monday. Fanatics plans to launch its mobile platform in Maryland and Massachusetts by June, according to the WSJ report. Fanatics currently operates a retail sportsbook in Maryland at FedEx Field, home of the NFL’s Washington Commanders.
With Fanatics’ launch, there will be 18 mobile sports betting operators live in Ohio, including major national brands like BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, and FanDuel. Other well-known brands — such as bet365, BetRivers, and PointsBet — also operate in the state. Fanatics hopes to lure customers away from those platforms with both a competitive sportsbook offering and internal synergies with other branches of its business.
Speaking at Tues' #SBJWCOS, @Fanatics CEO @michaelrubin backtracked from previous estimates that #FanaticsSportsbook will be live in 15-20 states by WK 1 of the @NFL regular season. Rubin placed the number at closer to 12, while adding that it will be the "biggest states." pic.twitter.com/M1TExH7XLb
— Matt Rybaltowski (@MattRybaltowski) April 18, 2023
Can it compete?
BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel accounted for 79% of mobile handle in Ohio in February, and the three account for about 85% market share nationally. Fanatics believes its sports betting vertical can compete with industry giants like FanDuel in part due to its existing customer base in other industries, like merchandising and collectibles.
“There’s not another company thinking about how do you give hundreds of millions – or maybe even long-term billions – of sports fans one place to do everything they want to do digitally,” CEO Michael Rubin told the Wall Street Journal. “That’s going to be buying merchandise, buying and trading collectibles, betting on sports. Over time, watching live sports, maybe getting tickets from our place.”
Rubin’s goal of Fanatics being omnipresent in the life of sports fans is intriguing, but it remains to be seen if its sportsbook can truly compete with DraftKings and FanDuel on the wagering front. Those companies have been entrenched across the country in both DFS and sports betting for several years, and they’ve generated customer loyalty.
It won’t be easy for Fanatics to break into the top tier, but Rubin is confident his team can make a dent. That national competition ramps up Monday in Ohio.
Photo courtesy of Fanatics