Fanatics Connecticut and Colorado Sportsbooks Debuts Continue US Expansion

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Fanatics Betting and Gaming, the gambling subsidiary of sports merchandise operator Fanatics, has expanded into two new markets in recent weeks.

This week, Fanatics launched its online sportsbook in Connecticut after partnering with the Connecticut Lottery Corporation. Last week, it launched in Colorado, where it took over the operations of PointsBet, which it had purchased earlier in 2023 for $252 million.

Colorado and Connecticut mark the eighth and ninth state where a Fanatics Sportsbook has launched.

Connecticut Launch

This week, the operator announced it has soft-launched in Connecticut, less than two weeks after securing a deal with the Connecticut Lottery Corporation to replace Rush Street Interactive’s PlaySugarHouse sportsbook.

This launch is initially of a limited nature, with restricted hours and customer access, as part of a soft launch strategy. As of now, Connecticut sports betting fans can access the Fanatics Sportsbook via its mobile app. But it won’t launch fully until December 18.

In Connecticut, Fanatics Sportsbook is set to be the third sportsbook operator, after FanDuel and DraftKings. Together, those two accounted last year for nearly 85% of the state’s gross gaming revenue.

Fanatics’ product has been more successful nationally than Rush Street’s SugarHouse platform, so the operator will be looking to improve on that 15% market share.

As well as online, the state Lottery’s Connecticut retail sportsbooks will undergo a rebrand in the coming weeks. Those locations are Bobby V’s in Stamford and Windsor Locks, Sports Haven in New Haven, Winners in various locations, the XL Center in Hartford, and Aroogas in Shelton.

Colorado Expansion Through Acquisition

Meanwhile, Fanatics move into sports betting in Colorado was facilitated by the acquisition of PointsBet U.S.

Colorado ranks sixth in handle since the overturning of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018 and sports betting legalization. The state’s bettors wager an average monthly handle of $300 million.

Fanatics also inherited a partnership with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, which includes signage rights at the Ball Arena, the home of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche.

The Nuggets’ surprise championship run in 2023 cost online and retail sportsbooks in Colorado big time. But Fanatics skipped that, and can now take advantage of their increased popularity with this advertising deal.

Fanatics only opened its sports betting division in late 2022, but has expanded significantly since then. It first launched for Ohio sports betting in early 2023, followed by Tennessee. It then entered the Massachusetts sports betting market in June.

Since its acquisition of the U.S. operations of Australian bookmaker PointsBet, it has now launched for sports betting in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the recently opened market of Kentucky.

Fanatics has also recently launched online casinos in New Jersey, although only on a limited basis.

As detailed shortly after the PointsBet acquisition earlier in 2023, Fanatics says it takes a cautious, product-first approach to its rollouts in new markets.

That paid off in Massachusetts, where the end of a six-month beta test saw it jump over several competitors in monthly handle and revenues on its full launch.  

With the competitive U.S sports betting market seeing a few big-name casualties this year, such as Penn’s Barstool Sportsbook, Flutter Entertainment’s FOX Bet, and European operator Kindred Group’s Unibet brand, Fanatics steady expansion has been even more impressive. It will be hoping that continues with its recent launches in Colorado and Connecticut.

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