Fanatics Sportsbook and Casino West Virginia Now Live
Fanatics Betting and Gaming has launched its Fanatics Sportsbook and Casino in West Virginia. The combined sports betting and casino app is now available on Android and iOS devices.
The veteran sports merchandiser Fanatics has been steadily expanding its U.S. online sports betting footprint since mid-2023, when it acquired the U.S. assets of Australian operator PointsBet.
However, this launch in West Virginia sports betting is also distinguished as the debut of Fanatics’ online casino product.
Fanatics Betting and Gaming Chief Business Officer Ari Borod confirmed earlier this year that the company was planning U.S. online casinos for regulated states – but there has been little detail between then and this new launch.
Fanatics Casino Also Launches
Fanatics’ West Virginia online casino will be fully integrated into its sports betting app. This approach allows users to toggle between sports betting and a variety of casino games like roulette, slots, blackjack, and the exclusive Fanatics Blackjack.
This dual-service model is a first for West Virginia, although other operators have done it before. Most recently, Penn Entertainment combined its Hollywood Casino online platform with its new ESPN Bet sports betting service in states where both are legal.
West Virginia will currently be the only state with a Fanatics online casino. Fanatics Sportsbook is live in six states – Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, and now, West Virginia.
Of those, only West Virginia also has online casinos. There is no word yet on a Fanatics addition to the list of West Virginia retail sportsbooks. But it does offer retail betting in Ohio, so it is a possibility.
Fanatics does, however, expect to launch in the remaining of PointsBet’s previous markets by mid-2024. That would include the potential for Fanatics to join New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania online casinos.
Sportsbook Features and Market Status
Fanatics said its sportsbook and casino platform has a range of innovative features in a press release.
One feature the operator highlighted is the FanCash rewards program, offering up to 5% back on bets, which can be used for Bonus Bets or purchasing team merchandise from the Fanatics merch store.
It also pointed out the Discover feature on its sportsbook, with narrative bet suggestions and personalized bet-building options based on customer’s past choices.
The Fanatics Casino app will have a limited array of games to start, although it will launch with exclusive Fanatics-branded live blackjack games available. It plans to improve the platform over the coming months, adding more games and refining the player experience with feedback.
This slow rollout, in combination with effective utilization of its massive brand loyalty from its merchandise business, is key to why many consider Fanatics to be a potential big player in the U.S. gambling sector in the coming years.
The operator took six months to slow-rollout a limited beta launch Fanatics Sportsbook for Massachusetts sports betting. However it was was proved justified when it leapfrogged many established operators in terms of overall handle in its first month of full operation.
“We take a pragmatic and deliberate approach in rolling out our product,” Borod said, speaking earlier this year.
PointsBet has until September 1, 2024, to complete the handover of all 14 of its U.S. state operations to Fanatics. In the meantime, in some states the operator is running as Fanatics: A PointsBet Experience.