Report: Rubin Lowers Expectations For Fanatics Sportsbook Launches By NFL Season

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Fanatics Sportsbook

CEO Michael Rubin appears to be tempering expectations for the anticipated launch of Fanatics Sportsbook this year. 

According to Sports Business Journal, Rubin expects Fanatics to be live with US sports betting in 12-15 states by the start of the 2023 NFL season. Rubin had projected 15-20 states live in time for 2023 NFL betting in October 2022

He also anticipates further sports betting and online gaming acquisitions “over the next several years.”

“But we’re not in a rush there,” Rubin said this week at the 2023 CAA World Congress of Sports, according to SBJ

Fanatics Sportsbook states to date

Also in October, at the 2022 CAA World Congress of Sports, Rubin said Fanatics planned to be live with its sports betting app in January of this year. 

Yet, as of now, Fanatics is only beta-testing its app in Tennessee and Ohio

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has stated Fanatics plans to be live in the Bay State at some point in May. No online start dates by Fanatics in any jurisdiction have been announced. 

Fanatics has been operating an in-person sportsbook at FedEx Field in Maryland since February

Fanatics on timecrunch with NFL

The kickoff game for the 2023 NFL season is slated for Sept. 7

That gives Fanatics less than five months to wrap up TN, OH and MA, while adding several more states to hit its CEO’s new 12 to 15 goal. One industry source told LSR that Fanatics is actively seeking access in various jurisdictions.

It’s doable, though it will be a significant undertaking. Fanatics believes it has an advantage due to its massive customer database. But completing regulatory checks and posting promos and ads to compete with the likes of FanDuel and DraftKings for users in a timely fashion will be key.

Where else Fanatics could go

LSR previously detailed in January some of the states Fanatics could explore. They could include the likes of New Jersey and Illinois, among others. The operator has also publicly stated it has a pending PA sports betting application.

Fanatics told the MGC during its suitability review that it had licenses in five other jurisdictions pending. A spokesperson declined to comment on those states.  

Fanatics is also a founding member of the Texas Sports Betting Alliance, although that state is considered a longshot for 2023 passage. 

Fanatics previously was not granted a license in New York as part of its competitive bidding process.