Fanatics Sportsbook Could Come To Virginia In 2024

Written By T.J. McBride on August 28, 2023
It could be months before Fanatics launches its sportsbook in Virginia.

Fanatics has expanded its offerings to include sports wagering, but its potential still has not been reached.

Fanatics bought PointsBet’s US business to provide an entry point into the American markets. That, of course, includes Virginia sports betting. Until the deal is fully complete, though, Fanatics is unable to access all the new markets it has acquired through the purchase.

Fanatics is currently active in just four states: Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio and Tennessee. It’s being considered for activation in New York, where it could launch as soon as September.

The company known for sports apparel has not launched sports betting in Virginia. It will gain a license to do so after its purchase of PointsBet is finalized in 2024.

Fanatics Sportsbook could soon be operating in 18 states

PointsBet VA launched in December 2021, just under a year after Virginia sports betting began. Fanatics bought PointsBet’s US operations just a couple months ago.

Virginia’s sports betting market has been flourishing. It has grown 7.7% in the last year. The potential addition of Fanatics could only improve that total considering the reach it has with sports fans and bettors alike.

In Maryland, Fanatics missed the initial wave of sports betting operator approvals on Nov. 23 of last year. It took until Jan. 20 to begin taking mobile wagers. On the same day, Fanatics opened its first retail sportsbook within FedEx Field; the home of the NFL’s Washington Commanders.

In Massachusetts, Fanatics was in a sort of beta mode and only offering its services to existing customers. It was approved for a sports betting license on Jan. 12 but did not begin taking wagers until May 25. It is now fully operational.

In Ohio, Fanatics was approved to take wagers from the very beginning on Jan. 1 but elected to hold off. After a stretch of beta testing, Fanatics Sportsbook went live across the state on May 1.

In Tennessee, Fanatics began its beta test on March 3, and after a successful run, the online sportsbook went live on May 1 throughout the state.

Fanatics will eventually gain access to another 14 states through its purchase of PointsBet’s US business. Those states include:

  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

Taking over PointsBet’s licenses and launching new sportsbooks across the country is an arduous and complicated process. It requires patience and, in this case, an understanding of its priorities. While launching in all states that PointsBet was active in is a long-term goal, Fanatics is focused on launching in New York prior to football season.

For now, Virginians will have to wait a bit longer for other dominos to fall first.

Fanatics expansion will be in two stages

The Fanatics deal to buy PointsBet’s US business for $225 million is set to be completed in two stages. Around the end of August, Fanatics will pay $175 million. It will then pay the final $50 million at the beginning of 2024. Because of that, Fanatics will not be the outright owner of all licenses until next year.

That is the problem Fanatics is facing in New York, which requires Fanatics to fully own the license before taking wagers. Fanatics has a goal of launching in lucrative New York prior to the NFL season, which begins in two weeks.

Fanatics COO Michael Rubin had previously said the company intends to be fully operational in 15-20 states by the end of 2023. That should include Virginia. It seems New York is the domino that must fall before other states are heavily considered.

Still, Fanatics will own a sports betting license in Virginia around March at the latest, making this a matter of when Fanatics will take bets in the commonwealth as opposed to if it will launch.

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T.J. McBride

T.J. McBride is a writer and reporter based in Denver. He is a Nuggets beat writer and also covers the regulated gambling industry across the U.S. His byline can be seen at ESPN, FiveThirtyEight, Bleacher Report and more.

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