Fanatics Faces NY Sports Betting Review After PointsBet Deal

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Fanatics Sportsbook will face “increased scrutiny” as it undergoes its suitability review for an NY sports betting license. 

The NYS Gaming Commission will make its recommendation on Fanatics in September, chair Brian O’Dwyer said Thursday

The NFL regular season begins on Sept. 7, though an exact date for a New York sports betting license decision is unclear. The NYSGC typically holds its monthly meetings at the end of the month. 

O’Dwyer on license review

Fanatics will acquire PointsBet’s US sports betting business for $225 million. PointsBet has one of nine online sports betting licenses in the Empire State. 

O’Dwyer addressed the acquisition on Thursday: 

“While the transaction, a corporate buyout, does not require a transfer of licenses, the commissioners here today are convinced that since its effective control of a license has transferred to a new entity, that increased scrutiny of this license holder is necessary,” O’Dwyer said.

“To that end, the staff has and will require Fanatics to undergo a thorough examination of character and fitness to operate the license. When that is finished, the commission will consider the recommendations of the staff and look at their report. And make a final determination at that point. I assume that will be done at our September meeting.” 

NY sports betting dominated by pair

New York’s lifetime sports betting handle eclipsed $25 billion in June. FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook have largely dominated the market.

Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin previously said “you can’t make money” in NY sports betting due to the 51% online tax rate. Before acquiring PointsBet, it previously was denied a license. 

The company is counting on its existing retail customer database to become competitive in what has looked like a two-horse race

Fanatics future in other jurisdictions

The company’s app is currently open on a limited, existing customer-only basis in four states:

However, NYSGC executive director Rob Williams provided more details on Fanatics’ future Thursday. 

Williams said Fanatics has been looking to enter 12 other jurisdictions; PointsBet is live in 14 states. He said Fanatics has secured licensure in West Virginia.

Per a West Virginia state spokesperson: “Fanatics is not licensed in West Virginia for sports wagering. However, Fanatics is the ultimate parent company of PointsbetWV, who was reviewed and approved for Licensure at our July Commission meeting for the purpose of sports wagering.”

More on Fanatics license plans

Williams added: