Fanatics Sportsbook is no longer just coming. It’s here.
The sports merchandising company officially launched its first official legal sports betting operation in the U.S. today by opening a retail sportsbook inside FedExField, home of the Washington Commanders in Landover, Maryland.
Not only is there a player in the Maryland sports betting market, but this is also the first time an NFL stadium has housed a sportsbook. The Arizona Cardinals have a BetMGM retail book close to State Farm Stadium, which opened for the start of the 2022 NFL season. However, it’s not located within the facility like the one at FedExField.
Fanatics, which is tied to operator Plainridge Park Casino, didn’t get approved by the state of Maryland in time to launch an online sports betting site — it hopes to begin that sometime this year.
Transitioning to sports betting
Fanatics originated in 1995 and has been selling sports apparel and collectibles for decades. The company started to get involved in the sports betting industry shortly after former FanDuel CEO Matt King joined the company in June 2022. Since then, they have been active in partnering with technology companies, Fanatics is looking into acquiring sports betting operators, and applying for betting licenses with states.
Fanatics ultimately partnered with Amelco for its sports betting technology and platform and is set to launch its first mobile sports betting site in Massachusetts in March.
Fanatics is also already approved in Ohio, though it has yet to go live with online or retail sportsbooks yet as it also missed the deadline to do so. They aren't stopping at those three either: Fanatics is eyeing moves into attractive markets like Colorado, Iowa, and Indiana, as well as bigger markets like New York and New Jersey.
Maryland has offered regulated sports betting since December 2021, although it is quite new to mobile sports betting, which launched on November 23, 2022, and the state has a dozen online sportsbooks and 10 retail locations already operating.
Fanatics is also hoping that its widely-known brand will quickly build a trusting reputation in the sports betting market... which has plenty of competition.
Maryland already has well-established brands like DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars, and PointsBet for Fanatics to challenge. It’s partnership with the Commanders, and the NFL, could help it get off to a promising start.