First Fanatics Sportsbook Debuts In Maryland; Will PA Be Next?

Written By Corey Sharp on January 20, 2023 - Last Updated on January 18, 2024
Fanatics sportsbook makes debut in MD, will PA follow?

Fanatics has officially entered the sports betting industry. As speculation has mounted for months, Maryland is the first state Fanatics Sportsbook will operate in, and will make history in the process.

Fanatics is expected to launch in other states, including PA, with details coming soon.

Retail Fanatics Sportsbook opens in Maryland

Launching as Fanatics Sportsbook, the sports apparel-turned-gaming company is live in Maryland.

There is no news on mobile betting, but Fanatics is opening a retail sportsbook at FedEx Field, the home of the Washington Commanders. It is the first retail sportsbook inside an NFL stadium.

Ian Botts, CTO of Fanatics Gaming, posted a marketing brochure on LinkedIn that invites fans to FedExField to “place a real bet and help us test our systems.”

Fans had the chance to go either Jan. 12 or Jan. 17 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. in preparation for the grand opening on Jan. 20.

Fanatics has been awarded an online sports betting license in Maryland and has been quietly planning a launch.

Is Fanatics launching in PA next?

Fanatics launch in Maryland indicates there is more to come. Is a launch in Pennsylvania next?

“No timeline on PA is available” was the response PlayPennsylvania received when asking Fanatics officials on a potential launch within the state.

Fanatics applied for an iGaming and sports betting license as FBG Enterprises on April 26, 2022. The application status is still pending.

Michael Rubin sold his 10% ownership of the Sixers back in June in preparation to enter the sports betting and iGaming industries.

To launch its branded online sportsbook in PA, Fanatics would need to partner with a land-based PA casino and get approval from the PGCB to operate.

The remaining options for casinos to partner with are limited in PA, as most have an online sportsbook partner. Presque Isle Downs just partnered with bet365 through Churchill Downs. CDI’s other PA property, Lady Luck Nemacolin, never applied for a sports betting license.

One potential avenue could be Parx Shippensburg, a mini-casino expected to open later this month.

What gives Fanatics Sportsbook a potential leg up on competition

Fanatics would come to Pennsylvania with significant brand recognition already. If sports fans in Pennsylvania haven’t heard of Rubin owning the Sixers, most likely they have used Fanatics to buy their favorite players’ jerseys.

According to CNBC, Fanatics raised $700 million last month and the valuation of the company has reached $31 billion. Most recently, Fanatics has expanded by buying Topps for $500 million and Mitchell & Ness, another popular sports apparel brand.

FanDuel PA sportsbook and DraftKings PA sportsbook have been No. 1 and No. 2 in handle, respectively, in PA for years. FanDuel generates about 40% in handle to DraftKings’ 25%. Both operators have been live in PA since 2019.

It’s tough to say what kind of impact Fanatics would have off the bat in PA. But it doesn’t hurt having a business that’s worth $31 billion with plenty of available resources.

Stay up-to-date with the latest Pennsylvania sportsbook promotions on offer by simply clicking our provided link.

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Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp is the Lead Writer at PlayPennsylvania bringing you comprehensive coverage of sports betting and gambling in Pennsylvania. Corey is a 4-for-4 Philly sports fan and previously worked as a writer and editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia.

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