Business By The Books: Is Fanatics Cash Raise For Sports Betting M&A?

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It is not a secret that Fanatics is building a sports betting product. Just about every other aspect of that product, however, is being kept under lock and key for now.

Multiple outlets reported Fanatics raised $700 million last week and now boasts a $31 billion valuation. That cash will reportedly be used for M&A. A Reuters source said the company should end the year with more than $2 billion in cash.

Whether that will go toward the US sports betting product is unknown, but it does not appear necessary at this point.

Rubin confident in market access

Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin made clear market access could still be found for the 15 to 20 states he wants to launch in by the time NFL betting rolls around for the 2023 season. It is cheaper now, too, Rubin said at the 2022 CAA World Congress of Sports:

“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 he would be open to acquisitions if needed, though. Fanatics was reportedly in discussions to buy Tipico, a brand with access to multiple states and an exclusive partner in USA Today owner Gannett, but has yet to garner much traction in the US. The two sides were reportedly at odds over a final price about six months ago.

Tipico offers tickets for sports betting signups

Tipico, meanwhile, signed an interesting partnership to try and gain an edge in the Ohio sports betting market opening Jan. 1.

The brand signed a multiyear deal with AEG Presents to be the exclusive sponsor of the sportsbook category of AEG-owned music venues in Ohio.

The “Best Bet Concert Series” includes 32 concerts annually where Tipico can sign-up sports betting customers on site.

MA sports betting … in a garage?

There were a few surprising notes that popped up last week during the Massachusetts Gaming Commission‘s review of three applications for retail Massachusetts sportsbooks:

Nothing was as surprising as Wynn moving forward with its unusual parking garage mini-sportsbook, though. Commissioners were caught off-guard by the proposal in August, and it has been fleshed out to a room with 23 betting kiosks with 15-minute parking to let bettors get in and out quickly.

Commissioners showed concern over potential security issues, like moving money through the parking garage to get to and from the space. Wynn will provide more information on its plans in an executive session with the MGC.

Xpoint-GeoComply dates outlined

The US District Court of Delaware posted a two-year schedule for GeoComply‘s lawsuit against recently launched Xpoint for alleged patent infringement.

GeoComply has until Jan. 8 to specifically identify upon what Xpoint infringed. Xpoint then has until Feb. 7 to produce core technical documents and source code for any accused products.

GeoComply will have 30 days to tell Xpoint what the issues are. Xpoint then has another 30 days to counter those claims. The final claims are due to the court by Aug. 11 with Xpoint’s response due Sept. 22.

Should the issue go to trial, expert testimony is due in May and June 2024 with a five-day jury trial scheduled for Dec. 9, 2024.

Illinois latest $1B sports betting market

There are now four states that have taken $1 billion in bets in a single month as Illinois joined Nevada, New Jersey and New York in October.

Illinois sportsbooks took a record $1.03 billion in bets in October, which was 22.5% higher than last years $840 million in handle. Operators paid $16.5 million in taxes on $102.1 million in revenue, both of which were also records.

This milestone may have come sooner had Illinois been consistent with its rules on mobile registration. Signing up for player accounts outside of a casino only became permanently legal in March.

Operators can still buy their way into Illinois with the mobile-only licenses once again available after Tekkorp ended its talks to acquire Caliente.