Fanatics Ramping Up Product, Still Targeting MI Online Casino Launch In 2023

Written By Drew Ellis on September 26, 2023 - Last Updated on November 22, 2023
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Fanatics will launch in Michigan sooner rather than later.

The sports memorabilia brand already has its logo stamped on PointsBet Sportsbook & Casino in Michigan. Fanatics is working toward launching its own online gambling product by the end of the year.

As we get closer to Fanatics officially joining the group of online casinos in Michigan and MI online sportsbooks, the company’s chief business officer gave some insight as to what new users can expect.

When will Fanatics launch in Michigan?

Fanatics Sportsbook is currently live in four states in the country, but the goal is now to be live in 15 states by the end of the year. That is due to Fanatics purchasing the US assets of PointsBet during the summer.

Included amongst those 15 states will be Michigan. Fanatics is currently working toward licensing in the state. However, PointsBet Sportsbook has currently added the “A Fanatics Experience” label to its platform.

In the states where online casinos are legal, Fanatics is also working to establishing its online casino product. During a recent appearance on the “Gamble On” podcast, Fanatics Betting and Gaming CBO Ari Borod indicated that online casinos may not necessarily launch in 2023.

“We should have our iCasino product live by the end of the year, but if we don’t feel it is perfect yet, then it will be live at the beginning of next year,” Borod said.

A timetable for Fanatics launch in Michigan has yet to be established. The Michigan Gaming Control Board stated Fanatics would need to ensure their proposed branding met their established requirements.

Initial focus on sports over casino

Borod did note that Fanatics has its initial focus on the sportsbook product and having a successful launch in the 15 states it will go live in.

With Fanatics having a clear tie to sports already, the transition into an online sportsbook could be seamless.

“Fanatics is really a sports business, so first and foremost, that is what we are going out with. We want to make sure this is another thing we can add to the Fanatics ecosystem of products,” Borod said.

“But, longer term, as a gaming company, iCasino is obviously a good business. But, also, if there are people who want to play online blackjack on their phone, and we don’t want them going to a competitor to do it, we want them to continue to engage with Fanatics, we are obviously going to have to have to give the customer what they want. It is definitely part of the strategy.”

Borod further qualified that Fanatics will be putting all of its efforts into making the online casino a top-level product as well. Don’t expect Fanatics to overlook its Michigan online casino in the way we have seen with a product like Barstool.

“We have the same commitment to improving the product on the casino side that we do in sports. We want it designed well. We want a good customer experience. I don’t think there’s been enough innovation on the casino side, so we are working hard at that as well.”


What will Fanatics Sportsbook offer?

Borod addressed some big goals for Fanatics. He said he thinks the company can be the top product in a top-heavy online sportsbook world.

With a deep database of customers from the Fanatics sports memorabilia and apparel store, Borod feels they can start fast using said database.

“The sheer volume of our database is massive. It’s bigger than (FanDuel and DraftKings) databases combined. It’s bigger than any casino rewards database. Also, these are sports fans. It’s a much bigger demographic, but also one that is still very qualified as sports fans,” Borod said.

With its customer database, Fanatics aims to be able to make special offers specific to each user based on their Fanatics purchase history.

Fanatics will offer Fan Cash for every wager placed, similar to a rewards program you’d see with other online sportsbooks and casinos. The Fan Cash can be used to purchase free bets, or spend on things like jerseys and memorabilia at the Fanatics store.

Fanatics streaming live NFL games

Fanatics will give bettors the opportunity to stream live NFL games on their sportsbook product.

In a partnership with Genius Sports, the BetVision product will be available on Fanatics Sportsbook.

BetVision is a personalized product that allows users to create a viewing experience tailored to their betting preferences. Bettors can place wagers from a live video player that will be playing the NFL game of their choosing.

This is all part of Fanatics’ belief that the online sportsbook interface still has a lot of room for improvement for the user experience.

“I think FanDuel probably has the best product out there today, but I don’t think the category has seen what the best looks like yet. Our goal is really how do we build the best product,” Borod said.

“We definitely want to be the No. 1 player in the long-term. We don’t want to be a flash in the pan. This is, where do we want to be in five years? Where do we want to be in 10 years, and how to sustain that in the long term.”

FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM make up 76.2% of the sports betting market share in Michigan when it comes to handle.

Fanatics will have a lot of work to do to catch up to the big three, as PointsBet has just 3% of the market share in Michigan.

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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis is the Lead Writer of PlayMichigan, the No. 1 source for online gambling news in Michigan. A lifelong resident of the state, Ellis has been working in various forms of media since 1998, including more than a decade in the sports betting industry prior to transitioning into US casino markets in 2020.

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