There was a possibility that Fanatics looked to try to enter the California sports betting market without even having a mobile sportsbook platform. However, Fanatics is closer to launching a sportsbook, and Maryland may be the state where Fanatics starts.
The Maryland Lottery Gives Fanatics a Shot
Fanatics began its company as an online retailer and has undoubtedly succeeded in that space as it has become a popular company for selling merchandise, equipment, and clothing for different sports teams since 2011. On top of that, the company has ventured into the trading card business as it acquired Topps in 2022.
On a high note, Fanatics has been busy making a push for sports betting, with CEO Michael Rubin leading the way. Fanatics Betting and Gaming’s VP of Regulatory Affairs Alex Smith thanked the Maryland Lottery Commission for giving the company a shot at entering the growing United States sports betting market.
This will be Fanatics’ first sports betting license as the Commission gave the company a partial approval on Thursday. This is just a start, as Rubin sold his share in the parent company that owns the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils. This isn’t common as people who want to venture into the sports betting sector cannot have any influence on a professional sports franchise as it would have some effect on the new sportsbook push.
Shaquille O’Neal announced that he sold his share of the Sacramento Kings to become the brand ambassador for WynnBet. If Rubin kept his stake locked in the potential sportsbook platform wouldn’t be able to take wagers on the 76ers and the Devils until the share was sold.
What are the Final Steps in the Process for Fanatics to Join the Old Line State?
The job is far from complete for Fanatics’ push to join Maryland’s retail sports betting market. Gov. Larry Hogan has been an advocate for the sports betting operation from day one. Now he is pushing lawmakers and the other parties involved to take it a step further by pushing for mobile sports wagering in the state.
To launch a retail sportsbook in Maryland, Fanatics still needs to gain approval from the Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission. If awarded by the Commission, the company would be the 10th entity to receive a facility license in the state.
The push for more doesn’t stop there as Fanatics are in talks to acquire Tipico as the reports came together on Thursday afternoon. The needle hasn’t swayed one way as of yet as the talks have stalled. In addition to its presence in Colorado and New Jersey, Tipico is USA TODAY’s exclusive sports betting partner.
Fanatics must be licensed in at least ten states in order to gain market access in California as the mobile operators continue to stand their ground against the tribal casinos in the Golden State. Tipico is also making a push in Indiana, Iowa, and Ohio. Ohio will be launching its sports betting market on January 1, 2023.
Retail Sportsbooks Have Done in Maryland so Far
Maryland has five retail sportsbooks that are up and running. The jurisdictions haven’t been able to escape the summer slowdown, but the in-person sportsbooks have had solid hold rates.
For the fifth time in six months, the retail locations have shown a double-digit hold rate which has generated decent for the state so far. Still, the Old Line State has yet to reach its full potential as mobile sports betting is still up in the air.