Slightly late to the sports betting game, Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin wants to invest $1bn in the company’s new sports betting division. On Monday, the sports merchandise company announced it has plans to launch its first gambling app in Tennessee and Ohio.
To begin with, only Fanatics customers will have access to its gambling app. The company aims to add sports betting in Massachusetts and Maryland by June and be operating in 12 states by football season; by that point the app will be available to the general public.
Fanatics competitors: FanDuel Group, DraftKings and BetMGM hold an estimated 85% of the sports betting market in the US and have dominated the market for many years, not leaving much room for the Fanatics to join the market.
However, the company aims to differ from its competitors by connecting gamblers to its rewards program for deals on merchandise, signed collectibles and access to athletes and games. The long-term plan is to have everything sports fans want in one place digitally. This will consist of being able to buy merchandise, buy and trade collectibles and bet on sports.
According to executives, with sports betting, Fanatics aims to offer a gambling app that can create algorithms based on consumers’ favorite teams and betting preferences; further differing it from its competitors by adding an element that is akin to the likes of Spotify in terms of recommendations and highlighting the areas the consumer likes to invest in.
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