Fanatics Nearing Acquisition Of PointsBet, Paving Way For Potential NY Sports Betting Entry

Written By David Danzis on May 15, 2023
fanatics sportsbook new york skyline

The gambling rumor mill is spinning fast, with the potential sale of PointsBet Sportsbook to Fanatics spinning the wheel.

What began weeks ago as insider gossip became tongue-in-cheek banter this week at an industry conference in New Jersey. With a few cryptic Tweets from the convention, a handful of indirect remarks from Fanatics officials, and a story about PointsBet shares trending upward and lo-and-behold, now the latest scuttlebutt is talks between the two are further along than originally thought.

In fact, over the weekend, a joint statement from Fanatics and PointsBet confirmed a proposed acquisition for $150 million.

The story’s unfolding may have begun across the Hudson River at the SBC Summit North America in East Rutherford, but the possible sale of PointsBet to Fanatics has relevance to New York sports betting.

Fanatics ‘confident’ about PointsBet acquisition

Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin previously expressed his desire to steer clear of NY sports betting due to the high cost. A buyout of PointsBet would set up a Fanatics Sportsbook NY sports betting license (assuming regulatory approval).

“Fanatics and PointsBet are excited to enter into an agreement for Fanatics Betting and Gaming to acquire PointsBet’s US business,” Fanatics and PointsBet said in a joint statement.

“While there are still several steps in the process to complete the acquisition, both parties are confident in the outcome. Fanatics Betting and Gaming and PointsBet will provide further details of the proposed deal and timely updates in the coming weeks.”

For those looking ahead, it could also pave the way for Fanatics to be at the front of the line as an online casino operator in the Empire State should lawmakers eventually decide to go down that route.

PointsBet Sportsbook is available in 14 states, including NY. In four of those states — NJ, Pennsylvania, Michigan and West Virginia — PointsBet also operates an online casino.

PointsBet in middle of NY sports betting pack

Australian-based PointsBet has made no secret about its intentions to sell off its US sports betting product, which has struggled to compete with the likes of FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM and Caesars.

The first two control nearly 80% of the US online betting market. Adding the latter two brings the combined national market share closer to 90%.

Of New York’s nine online sportsbooks, PointsBet ranks fifth in terms of total amount bet and revenue. Through the week of April 23, 2023, PointsBet Sportsbook NY generated less than $5 million in revenue after taxes.

Fanatics continuing push to enter sports betting landscape

Fanatics, a gaming industry newcomer best known for selling licensed sports apparel, has been deliberate in its efforts to enter the sports betting space on its own terms.

Rubin stated he wants Fanatics Sportsbook in nearly 20 states and believes the company can “can be the No. 1 player in the world in that business in 10 years.”

Thus far, Fanatics has a retail book at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. The online sportsbook sent invitation-only emails to existing customers in Ohio and Tennessee as part of a recent test.

Fanatics plans to go live in OH, TN, Massachusetts and Maryland by next month.

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David Danzis

David Danzis is a writer for PlayNY. A New Jersey native and honors graduate of Rutgers University, he served as a newspaper reporter for the New Jersey Herald and Press of Atlantic City, earning statewide awards for his coverage of politics, government, education, sports and business. Today, he contributes to New York's growing legal gambling landscape, including online sports betting and potential legalization of NY online casinos. David lives in Mays Landing with his wife and two children. When not on the beach, a golf course, or snowboarding, David enjoys watching his beloved New York sports teams — Yankees, Jets, Rangers and Knicks.

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