Fanatics Betting and Gaming closed on the first eight states in its acquisition of PointsBet USA, according to a Thursday afternoon press release from Fanatics.
The move means that Fanatics Betting and Gaming has now acquired the operating businesses of PointsBet USA in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Soon, PointsBet’s mobile sports betting product in those states will rebrand from PointsBet to “PointsBet, a Fanatics Experience,” as Fanatics must await regulatory review before shifting to its own branded sportsbook in those jurisdictions.
PointsBet won’t be leaving those eight states this NFL season, but rather operating after the rebrand. Fanatics Sportsbook will still operate its branded platform in Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Tennessee. Maryland customers will have access to both PointsBet and Fanatics Sportsbook during the 2023 football season.
A new era of betting…
Introducing PointsBet- A Fanatics Experience pic.twitter.com/gyHg8HxlQa
— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) August 31, 2023
At the start of the NFL season, Fanatics Betting and Gaming will be live in a total of 11 states under the two brands — Fanatics Sportsbook and PointsBet, a Fanatics Experience. Fanatics Sportsbook is also licensed in Kentucky, where digital operators are set to go live Sept. 28. The number could grow to 15 by the end of 2023.
“We are excited about what we are building at Fanatics Betting and Gaming and this acquisition accelerates our plans,” Matt King, CEO of Fanatics Betting and Gaming, said in a press release. “We have a ten-year plan that focuses on the customer and not market share. We are going to acquire customers efficiently, allowing us to return savings to customers by investing in the customer experience at Fanatics Sportsbook and PointsBet, a Fanatics Experience.”
Fanatics Betting and Gaming will begin integrating Banach Technology’s risk management platform and trading models into the Fanatics Sportsbook app. PointsBet acquired Banach, a Dublin-based gambling software company, for $43 million in March 2021. Banach’s algorithms and software have been critical in enhancing PointsBet’s in-game trading capabilities.
PointsBet license transfers take time
Thursday’s announcement doesn’t mean customers in the eight states gain immediate access to the Fanatics Sportsbook. They’ll instead be able to use the rebranded PointsBet platform, as Fanatics still needs state regulatory approval for the transfer of PointsBet licenses to Fanatics Betting and Gaming.
PointsBet holds market access in 12 states that Fanatics Betting and Gaming does not. Thursday’s news means Fanatics Betting and Gaming now has the ability to gain market access in seven of those 12 states, but the regulatory approval process can be time consuming. Because both companies already have live platforms in Maryland, the eighth state, Fanatics Betting and Gaming won’t need a license transfer there.
Fanatics’ announcement shared that customers in Indiana and Illinois will see PointsBet rebranded in the coming months, but the existing businesses will continue to be operated by PointsBet USA until Fanatics Betting and Gaming officially closes on those states later in 2023.
The New York State Gaming Commission is next expected to meet in September — although an official meeting time has not yet been set — and indicated it would take up the license transfer at that time.
Aitken to remain with PointsBet
One of the lingering post-merger questions surrounds the retention of PointsBet’s top North American executives and trading staff. On Thursday, PointsBet announced that Johnny Aitken will continue as CEO of PointsBet USA. Following the sale of its U.S. assets, PointsBet intends to break even in mid-2024, the company said during an earnings update on Thursday.
Despite the transfer of the company’s U.S. business to Fanatics, PointsBet North America will remain operational in Canada. Australian-based PointsBet Holdings Limited has been the subject of intense merger speculation Down Under.
On the Australian Stock Exchange, PointsBet gained A$0.06 on Friday to A$1.68 ($1.09), up 3.6%.