If Fanatics Wants To Reach Profitability ‘Faster Than Anyone Else,’ Focus On Online Casino

Written By David Danzis on September 13, 2023 - Last Updated on April 10, 2024
Fanatics Michael Rubin Speaks At Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit

Fanatics Betting and Gaming unveiled its online sportsbook in a handful of states ahead of the 2023 football season, kicking off a highly-anticipated industry debut following its $225 million purchase of PointsBet’s US operations.

Poinstbet, A Fanatics Experience is now among the 14 legal online sportsbooks in New Jersey. (The same rebranded digital sports betting platform is available in neighboring Pennsylvania. Fanatics is still working through the regulatory process in New York, so PointsBet Sportsbook is still active there.)

With a late start to the online NJ sports betting game, Fanatics is behind the competition. FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook control much of the US market, with BetMGM and Caesars tailing the two leaders.

Fanatics, though, could reach profitability by focusing its attention on its NJ online casino – something PointsBet did not do.

CEO: Fanatics will reach profitability ‘faster than anyone else’

Matt King, CEO of Fanatics Betting and Gaming, the gambling division of the merchandising and sports apparel manufacturer, expects to turn a profit faster than others in the industry. During a recent interview on MSNBC, King said Fanatics’ existing database and brand recognition among sports fans will propel the rookie bookie to profitability sooner rather than later.

“We think we’ll reach profitability faster than anyone else in the industry,” King told “Squawk on the Street” on Sept. 7. “They’ll get there first but we started later. So, when you look at the period of unprofitability, it’ll be the shortest in the industry.”

King, the CEO of FanDuel until 2021, knows Fanatics’ surest path to quicker profits is not booking bets on football or same-game parlays. Digital gambling operators generate considerably more revenue from online casinos. And that revenue turns into profit.

Fanatics Betting and Gaming is already taking advantage of the fact that PointsBet had licenses for both online sports betting  and online casino gaming in NJ.

Nobody talks about NJ online casinos when it comes to Fanatics

PointsBet Casino, A Fanatics Experience has been live in the Garden State since the beginning of the month. Television commercials promoting the online casino and offering new user bonuses have been playing in the Philadelphia/southern New Jersey market for several days now.

PointsBet focused on sports betting more than its online casino product, which could have contributed to its struggles to gain market share. FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars and even some of the other less-impressive brands all push digital casino products as much – if not more – than sports.

Unsurprisingly, King was not asked about online casino, or iGaming in general, during his in-person segment on MSNBC. Sports betting (particularly at the start of football season) is a sexier topic than internet blackjack or digital slots.

Online casino is only currently available in seven states as opposed to the 29 states (and counting) with mobile sports betting.

Online casino gaming is where the money’s at

But gambling execs like King know that the shortest path to long-term profits is through online casino players. As it begins its competitive journey, Fanatics has an online sportsbook in 11 states and an online casino in four.

While much of the focus has been on what Fanatics does in the sports betting space, keep a close eye on how King and Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin talk about online casino as lawmakers in other states begin to push harder for legalization. New York, Indiana, Illinois and maybe even long-shots like Ohio and Massachusetts are all in play to launch online casino in the next few years.

Fanatics is licensed (pending regulatory approvals) in all of them.

Photo by Evan Agostini / Invision / AP Photo
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David Danzis

David Danzis is the lead writer for PlayNJ. He is a New Jersey native and honors graduate of Rutgers University. As a newspaper reporter for the New Jersey Herald and Press of Atlantic City, David earned statewide awards for his coverage of politics, government, education, sports, and business. Today, he is PlayNJ’s Atlantic City “insider” and gaming industry expert on casinos, sports betting, and online gambling. David lives in Atlantic County, NJ with his wife and two children.

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