In January, Fanatics CEO of Betting and Gaming Matt King told the Massachusetts Gaming Commission that his company was aiming to launch its digital wagering platform in Massachusetts in “early March,” in line with the commission’s plan for a universal start date for online platforms.
But Friday, a Fanatics spokesperson confirmed that it will not go live March 10, meaning of the 11 approved platforms, at most nine will be ready to launch that day. During Betway‘s application review, its executives said the company would not be ready to go live in March due to issues surrounding an acquisition that would affect the timeliness of background checks.
Fanatics opened its first retail location at FedEx Field in Maryland in January. Last fall, Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin said the company had plans to be live in 15-20 states by the end of 2023, and so far is licensed for digital platforms in Maryland, Massachusetts, and Ohio, though it’s unclear in which state it will debut its new in-house platform that will be based on Amelco source code.
“The Fanatics Sportsbook will not go live on March 10 in Mass,” a company spokesperson told Sports Handle via text Friday. No additional information was shared.
Up to nine could launch March 10
In January, King unveiled Fanatics’ platform in an MGC executive session after sharing information about the sports wagering department setup, fielding questions about the business, and sharing general plans. The company has been expanding its sports betting staff for months, and those in the industry have been anxiously watching and waiting to see the new product.
Massachusetts lawmakers in August 2022 legalized sports betting, and the MGC has been in a sprint to launch ever since. Three casino sportsbooks at Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park went live Jan. 31. Eleven digital operators — six untethered and five connected to casinos — are approved for the March 10 launch date. In addition to Betway and Fanatics, Bally Bet, Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, Betr, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet, and WynnBET have approval.
When all is said and done, Massachusetts could have as many as 15 digital platforms. One untethered and one casino-tethered license are up for grabs, and there could be two digital licenses connected to horse racetracks. Raynham Park did announce that Caesars will operate its brick-and-mortar location.