The US sports betting entry of Fanatics Sportsbook has begun.
Fanatics opened its retail sportsbook at FedExField, home of the Washington Commanders, on Friday for Maryland sports betting. While BetMGM opened the first sportsbook in conjunction with an NFL stadium in Arizona, the Fanatics Sportsbook is the first physically within a stadium.
“Our first retail location, with adjacency to the Commanders Team store, is a physical representation of what Fanatics will deliver to sports fans all over North America,” Fanatics Betting and Gaming Chief Business Officer Ari Borod said in a release. “We are rolling out our platform first at retail and we will have more exciting news to share in the coming months as we bring to market new mobile technology designed to improve the betting experience for sports fans.”
Fanatics executives have said the sportsbook will be live in 15-20 states by the 2023 NFL betting season. There is no date for a mobile product debut, but company representatives told Massachusetts regulators the mobile sportsbook should be ready for a March launch.
FedExField Fanatics Sportsbook details
The first Fanatics Sportsbook is 5,000 square feet, and has 21 self-service kiosks and eight teller windows for betting.
The sportsbook will be open seven days a week, but NFL rules do not allow it to take bets on game day. It was not that long ago the NFL was one of the leaders in anti-sports betting sentiment in the US. Now, stadiums are home to sportsbooks.
It is the fourth in-stadium betting location in the DMV area, joining Washington DC sportsbooks at Audi Field (FanDuel), Capital One Arena (Caesars) and Nationals Park (BetMGM.)
Fanatics plan for sports betting contention
Fanatics is banking that its database of 94 million customers can help it become a dominant US sports betting brand. Leading the charge for the company’s sports betting operation is Matt King, the former CEO of FanDuel.
In February 2022, CEO Michael Rubin told the Sports Business Journal the company “can be the No. 1 player in the world in that business in 10 years.”
How the sportsbook will gain access to up to 20 markets by later this year is unknown, but it has lined up licenses in Ohio and Massachusetts. Rubin recently talked about how the price of market access has decreased greatly in recent months.
Acquisition coming for Fanatics Sportsbook?
On Friday, CNBC reported Fanatics is in talks to acquire BetParx, including signing a letter of intent. A spokesperson declined to comment on the report Friday afternoon.
Last year, the sports retail giant was linked to discussions with Tipico.
Last month, multiple outlets reported a $700 million fundraise for Fanatics, bringing its valuation to $31 billion. That follows a $1.5 billion raise in March 2022.
Maryland sports betting continues to grow
The Fanatics Sportsbook is the 10th retail sports betting venue in Maryland. FedExField was one of 17 venues designated in MD sports betting law to receive a retail sports betting license.
Maryland mobile sports betting began Thanksgiving weekend in November 2022. In December, the first full month of online action drew $478.3 million in wagers.
Combined with retail, the December handle reached $497.1 million, with sportsbooks generating $85.2 million in sports betting revenue.