The Massachusetts Gaming Commission Tuesday afternoon unanimously awarded Fanatics Sportsbook its sports betting operations license. According to commission staff, Fanatics Sportsbook has plans to launch at the end of May. Fanatics Sportsbook will become the eighth operator to launch a digital platform in the state.
Sports Handle reported Friday that Fanatics Sportsbook was in talks with PointsBet to purchase the company’s U.S. assets, and Sunday night, the deal was formally announced. That means that Fanatics Sportsbook, which is licensed to operate in Ohio, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Tennessee, will have access in 14 states when the acquisition is complete. Among those are New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, four of which are in the top 10 U.S. states by population. Including Ohio, Fanatics Sportsbook would then have access to every legal U.S. wagering state in the top 10 by population.
The platform is currently live to a limited number of customers in Ohio and Tennessee, and Fanatics Sportsbook opened its first retail location in the world in Maryland in January.
The MGC vote on Fanatics Sportsbook was the quickest of a six-hour meeting. Commissioners did not acknowledge news of the pending PointsBet acquisition, and there was little discussion around the approval.
In other news …
The commission did spend significant time discussing three rules, including a revision to the advertising rule 205 CMR 256. It agreed that most, if not all advertising must include language indicating that sports betting is available only to those 21 and older.
The commission also approved changes to House Rules for both Betr and FanDuel. In both cases, the changes were unique to the operator and wouldn’t affect others. Betr asked for language to be changed around how it refers to parlays, and FanDuel was asking for changes relating to evolving rules by sports governing bodies.
Running April Top 10 #SportsBetting handle by state:
1 New York $1.55B
2 NEW JERSEY ~$834M <-NEW
3 Massachusetts $579.3M
4 Michigan $338.1M
5 Maryland $328.5M
6 Indiana $321.4M
7 Louisiana $209.7M
8 Iowa $172.6M
9 Kansas ~$133M
10 Connecticut $126.7M#GamblingTwitter
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) May 16, 2023
On Monday, the MGC released its April revenue report, which revealed that DraftKings and FanDuel both had holds for the month of 10% or more and that Boston-based DraftKings accounted for more than 50% of the total state handle. Despite being the 16th biggest state by population, and the 11th biggest to have sports betting, April’s handle of $579.3 million is currently third for the month behind only New York ($1.55 billion) and New Jersey ($834 million). It took Bay State bettors less than two months from digital launch to break the $1 billion betting handle barrier.