Fanatics Sportsbook is looking to make a splash in the United States in 2023.
Eying launch in more than a dozen states across the nation, Fanatics could be targeting Michigan as one of those landing spots.
For that to happen, Fanatics would have to take over an existing partnership as Michigan has all 15 of its online sportsbook licenses spoken for.
Recent reports indicate that Fanatics could be attempting a purchase of BetParx, which does exist in the state.
What is Fanatics?
Fanatics Inc. is an online retailer that sells licensed sportswear, sports equipment and merchandise.
CEO Michael Rubin indicated the company plans to get into sports betting. He envisioned an interconnected system where a user could access all the Fanatics offerings.
Rubin sold his 10% stake in Harris Blitzer Sports Entertainment last year. They own the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils. NBA rules prevent team owners from operating a gambling platform.
Fanatics reports a database of 94 million customers. The company is valued at $31 billion.
Fanatics plan to get into sports betting
Last fall, Rubin made a bold claim to have Fanatics Sportsbook available in “15 to 20” states by the start of the 2023 football season.
“In the betting business, we’re going to start launching in multiple states in January,” Rubin said at the 2022 CAA World Congress of Sports. “We’ll be in every major state, other than New York where you can’t make money, by next football season.”
Fanatics Sportsbook made its US debut last week when it opened a retail location at FedEx Field in Maryland. Along with the Washington Commanders, Fanatics has retail sportsbook deals with the Columbus Bluejackets and Cleveland Guardians.
Rubin believes waiting to jump into the US sports betting markets is a wise approach, as licenses are much easier to get now than upon launch in most states.
“So people that think licensing is a problem, to be clear, it’s 30 to 40% cheaper today than it was a year ago. So our patience saved us money,” Rubin said at the World Congress of Sports.
Fanatics Sportsbook coming to Michigan?
Michigan currently has no available sports betting licenses, as all 15 licensed operators have deals in place.
Last week, CNBC reported that Fanatics has been in talks to acquire BetParx.
BetParx is currently the online sports book for Gun Lake Casino.
Though Rubin had previously denied interest in acquired BetParx, an anonymous source indicated Fanatics signed a letter of intent to buy the sportsbook.
Attempts to reach Gun Lake Casino for comment have not been returned as of this writing.
BetParx Sportsbook history in Michigan
BetParx launched as Michigan’s 14th online sportsbook in late July of 2021.
Through 17 full months of operation, BetParx hasn’t had much of an impact in Michigan.
It has accounted of just 0.3% of the lifetime Michigan online sportsbook market share for handle.
It amassed just under $8 million in handle through the final five months of 2021. For 2022, it amassed just under $18 million. That total handle ranked 11th of the 15 online sportsbooks in Michigan.
Through the 17 months, BetParx has accumulated just under $2 million in online sports betting revenue.