Sports apparel giant Fanatics appears poised to enter the online sports betting business. The company has told the Massachusetts Gaming Commission its plans to launch a sports betting platform in the US this year.
Most of us know Fanatics as the company that sells jerseys, hats, and other gear from our favorite sports teams. However, Fanatics Betting and Gaming CEO Matt King says the company intends to launch its own online betting platform starting in the first quarter of this year.
To do that, Fanatics has enlisted the help of Amelco to get this project off the ground. Massachusetts expects to launch legal online sports betting in early March, before the NCAA Tournament. Now Fanatics hopes to become a significant player in the Massachusetts sports betting market with BetFanatics Sportsbook.
Rumors of Amelco-Fanatics Team-Up Confirmed
Reports of Fanatics acquiring source code from Amelco came to light in April 2022. However, Fanatics representatives denied the rumors at the time. Fast forward to the new year, and the partnership appears to be moving forward.
Amelco will provide the player account management system and online sports wagering system for BetFanatics Massachusetts and wherever else BetFanatics goes live. (It has licenses in Ohio and Maryland.)
“In the purchase of Amelco source code, we are ‘fanaticizing’ it,” said Scot McClintic, Fanatics’ Chief Product Officer. “We are making it work with some specific use cases that we have, and we are bringing that version forward for GLI certification in the next few weeks.”
During Fanatics’ Category 3 Massachusetts online sports betting license hearing this week, the company called Amelco a world-class and proven sports wagering technology. Previously, Amelco has also powered Fubo, PlayUp, Fox Bet, and Hard Rock online sportsbooks.
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Fanatics Hearing to Continue Next Week
The MGC says it needs more time to decide on Fanatics’ mobile sports betting application in the state. Discussions will continue next Wednesday morning.
At Thursday’s MGC meeting, there was some concern about Fanatics’ business model and its connection to responsible gambling. The company, which specializes in sporting apparel, also plans to use its commerce branch to help boost its sports betting venture.
Some commissioners want to know more about the company’s plans to ensure it will not advertise its gambling business to underage customers, among other responsible gaming-related questions. One commissioner also commented on Fanatics’ use of “risk-free first bet” in its promotional language as part of its application.
Regarding diversity, the MGC wants more concrete workforce and supplier goals.
King says the company will address the commission’s responsible gaming and diversity issues in greater detail before next week’s meetings.
“We would look at applying whatever the highest (RG) standard in the industry is toward our promotions,” King said.
BetFanatics Sportsbook is currently licensed to operate sports betting in Ohio and Maryland. However, it is not yet live in either of those states. Additionally, it has five other licenses pending. The company aims to have the betting platform live in all available US markets by September 2023.
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