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Fanatics Sportsbook took another step in its rapid expansion plans last week. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) approved Fanatics' acquisition of PointsBet’s operating license in the Keystone State. Fanatics purchased PointsBet’s US business specifically for their operating licenses in states like Pennsylvania earlier this summer. The process to transfer a license is far quicker (and less expensive) than submitting a proposal for a new one, allowing them to launch across several large markets quickly after debuting their new product.
While the approval allows for Fanatics to launch their sportsbook, there is still no timeline for when that will happen. There is no question the operator will want to get the Pennsylvania market up and running quickly, but a smooth launch will be critical. With so many markets dominated by the top four sportsbooks (DraftKings, Fanduel, Caesars, BetMGM), there will be little room for error if they hope to capture enough market share to compete.
Fanatics completed a $225 million purchase of PointsBet’s US business on June 30, but it wasn’t easy. Fanatics had initially bid $195 million and thought the deal was done, but a last-minute bid from DraftKings caused PointsBet to put the deal on hold. While DraftKings insisted they could benefit from purchasing the Australian-based sportsbook, Fanatics accused them of making the bid just to block their deal. They resumed negotiations with PointsBet after upping their offer to $225 million.
Now that the license has been approved in Pennsylvania, you can expect to see Fanatics turn their focus to the New Jersey and New York markets. PointsBet held an operating license in New York, but the New York State Gaming Commission made it clear they will have to finalize themselves as the outright owners of PointsBet before considering the transfer of PointsBet’s license.
PointsBet was in the license application process in New Jersey when the deal was finalized, so Fanatics will need to wait for that to be approved. However, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement issued them a transactional waiver allowing them to operate in the state while their application is pending.
“PointsBet is currently operating under a transactional waiver, and because of that, there is no license that needs to be transferred. Once Fanatics completes its acquisition of PointsBet, it will need to obtain a new transactional waiver from the Division of Gaming Enforcement to continue operations,” the NJDGE confirmed in a press release.
Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.More info on Michael Savio
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