Half a year of live testing

As some online sportsbooks in the United States are falling by the wayside, Fanatics Sportsbook is forging ahead. On Wednesday, the company announced that it has officially launched its platform in Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Tennessee after six months of beta testing.

“We are laser focused on solving pain points facing customers by offering a faster, easier, and a more rewarding sports betting experience,” said Scot McClintic, Chief Product Officer, Fanatics Betting and Gaming, in a press release. “The strategic patience to build a product for the long-term has given us an opportunity to redefine a customer’s expectation of what a sportsbook should be.”

One big point that Fanatics is hyping is that the sportsbook app was “built natively on iOS and Android,” which means that it was specifically built for each operating system, rather than ported from a different platform. The company says that by doing this, its app will perform better than most others that were not specifically built for iOS and/or Android.

Launching at the right time

Though Fanatics has a long way to go to catch US market leaders FanDuel and DraftKings (and might not ever, if it even has that as a goal), launching three weeks before the NFL season starts is important, as it gives customers a chance to get signed up, deposit funds, and test things out before the lucrative (for sportsbooks) season gets underway.

It also gives Fanatics the jump on ESPN Bet, the new venture created by a partnership between PENN Entertainment and ESPN. ESPN Bet will not be ready by the time the football season starts. One would think the ESPN brand will still give ESPN Bet an advantage and a sizeable boost once it launches, but Fanatics’ first-mover advantage in the four states, at least compared to ESPN Bet, should certainly help what might be considered the underdog.

Further growth imminent

Fanatics also getting set to close its $225 million acquisition of PointsBet’s US business by the end of the month. This will add a dozen more states to Fanatics’ footprint, including New York, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

“With Fanatics Betting and Gaming’s recent acquisition of the U.S. businesses of PointsBet and its proprietary Banach Technology, the Fanatics Sportsbook will integrate the best parts of the PointsBet tech platform to supercharge its sports betting engine,” the company said on Wednesday. “The Fanatics Sportsbook will also leverage PointsBet’s quantitative driven trading models from Banach Technology in its new state-of-the-art risk and trading platform.”

Fanatics also previewed its loyalty program, featuring points it calls “FanCash.” Customers earn 1% of their straight bets in FanCash, 3% on parlay bets, and 5% on same-game parlays. FanCash can then be traded in for bonus bets or used to purchase team merchandise – the company’s core business – on the Fanatics website.

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