BetFanatics is the biggest sports betting company that doesn’t exist yet. People have been speculating about it for a long time, and every move Fanatics makes is dissected and analyzed. In case you’re not aware, Fanatics is the behemoth sports merchandising company with exclusive contracts with every major sports league and many colleges. If you go to any sports team website and look at the selection of t-shirts and hats, you are part of “A Fanatics Experience.”

Selling that much merchandise generates a lot of revenue, and Fanatics is a massive company by any measure. Fanatics is a private company once owned by eBay, but during a recent fundraising round, it was valued by investors at about $27 BILLION. Soon, you might be betting Patrick Mahomes player props and buying the quarterback’s jersey from the same company.

However, sports betting and sports merchandising are two very different industries. What makes everyone so sure Fanatics will make it as a sportsbook? The answer is above: Money! Specifically, Fanatics has a lot of it. Many observers believe Fanatics will buy an existing sports betting company and rename it BetFanatics.

Why BetFanatics?

This makes sense for two reasons. One is that Fanatics wants to continue to grow, and one way to succeed is to use its ubiquitous name brand to expand into other areas of the world of sports, including sports betting. The other reason is that the sports betting industry is due for a shakeup. The small operators will likely not last long-term, and consolidation seems due. BetFanatics could come in and buy an existing operator and use their technology and expertise to power the BetFanatics brand.

Follow along as we unpack all we know about the BetFanatics brand and its plans to disrupt the sports betting industry. We will also speculate a bit on which states BetFanatics will come to, potential acquisition targets, which promotions and sports it will offer, likely banking options, and possible bet types. After that, we will wrap things up with a very special FAQ. Let’s get started.

More on BetFanatics Sportsbook

Before we continue, it is essential to clarify that all this speculation about BetFanatics isn’t just idle chatter undertaken by bored sports betting industry observers. The Fanatics company recently hired the former CEO of FanDuel to head its new sports betting team and has advertised for dozens of open sports betting-related roles.

More recently, in May 2022, it was uncovered that Fanatics had filed a patent application for the BetFanatics name and logo. While we don’t know all the details, we do know that BetFanatics is going to exist in some form at some point in the future.

Potential Acquisition Targets for BetFanatics

Ok, this is where we get into the speculation. It makes sense that BetFanatics would buy an existing sportsbook rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. But that has not been confirmed yet. If BetFanatics does end up merging with an existing sportsbook, here are some contenders:

BetRivers: The seemingly obvious choice for BetFanatics sportsbook is BetRivers. BetRivers operates in several key states, including New York. It offers a great sportsbook product and also has an online casino where it is allowed. BetFanatics could acquire the sports betting part of the company and immediately be a force in the sports betting world.

PointsBet: The Australian-based sportsbook has made a name for itself here in the American market due to its unique high-risk, high-reward PointsBetting feature and its association with NBC Sports. PointsBet also has access to the coveted New York market, which makes it a prime takeover candidate for BetFanatics.

WynnBet: WynnBET is owned by the Wynn company, which of course, owns the elegant Wynn casino hotels in Las Vegas and elsewhere. But right now WynnBET’s biggest asset is its New York market access, which is limited to just nine sportsbooks. WynnBET hasn’t been as successful as originally estimated, and rumors have swirled that the company is looking to shed its online sportsbook. Those rumors diminished a bit when company executives stated their commitment to online sports betting, but money talks and BetFanatics could make Wynn an irresistible offer for WynnBET.

Foreign-owned Sportsbook: A sportsbook such as Bet365, Tipico, SBK Sportsbook, or PlayUp Sportsbook, could merge with BetFanatics. The owners of these sportsbooks are experts in sports betting but have had limited success here in America. BetFanatics may convince them to divest their holdings here and come to a sales agreement.

None of the Above: Perhaps the path BetFanatics will take is to build its brand from scratch without absorbing an existing company. Many sportsbooks have done this, though they are generally smaller and located in a single state. Tribal sportsbooks often partner with IGT or another technology partner to create their bespoke sportsbook. This would be challenging to do on a nationwide scale, but with a large enough budget, BetFanatics could make it work.

Potential States for BetFanatics

Since about three dozen states have some form of legal sports betting, there is plenty of room for a new operator. Here are the states where we believe BetFanatics could end up first, along with a little more info about BetFanatics’ potential in each state:

New York

This one comes with a caveat. If BetFanatics does venture out on its own, it will not be able to enter the New York market. This is because New York regulators limited the number of online sportsbooks available in the state to an unreasonably low nine rather than opening the state to full competition. Great for the nine lucky sportsbooks, but not so good for bettors in the state. However, if BetFanatics somehow acquires BetRivers or WynnBET, it will have access to the New York market, which is why many speculate that the company will take that path.

New Jersey

Across the Hudson River, New Jersey is much more friendly to mobile sportsbooks. Each casino and horse track in the state qualifies for three “skins” handed out to online operators. This means that almost two dozen mobile sportsbooks currently operate in the state. BetFanatics could easily partner with an existing casino and enter the market. Success would be another story because the New Jersey betting scene is saturated already, and residents may not be interested in another sportsbook.

Colorado

The Centennial State is home to the most online sportsbooks of any state (26 as of June 2022) due mostly to its operator-friendly regulatory structure and low tax rate. Many sportsbooks in Colorado have started to work out the kinks before venturing to other states. Each casino in the state can partner with one sportsbook, and there are still a few open licenses available. BetFanatics would have no problem entering the state and competing for a sliver of the FanDuel-dominated betting market.  

California

BetFanatics is not a sportsbook (yet), and California doesn’t have legal sports betting (yet), but Fanatics didn’t get to be as big as it is by sitting around and waiting for things to happen. They were able to plan far in advance and strategize future growth opportunities. That could be what is happening here.

California is the big one for every sportsbook company. They all are figuring out what angle to take to enter the market and capture some market share. A new sportsbook could quickly enter a new sports betting state and make a huge splash, picking up new customers who are not as familiar with the existing sportsbook brands as those in established markets. If sports betting does come to California, BetFanatics will be ready.

Ohio

BetFanatics has already announced two partnerships that will allow it to be licensed in Ohio. The nascent company has partnered with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Cleveland Guardians for both online and retail sportsbook licenses. It’s possible that Ohio will be the first state we will see the brand new BetFanatics brand when sports betting goes live in the state on January 1, 2023.

Possible BetFanatics Promotions

Every sportsbook offers some sort of promotion, particularly for new customers. BetFanatics will likely be no different. The company will need to introduce itself to sports bettors, and what better way to do that than with a solid new customer promotion. Here are the biggest promotions out there right now, some or all of which we expect BetFanatics to offer:

BetFanatics Sportsbook Promos Explained

Free Bet

A free bet is just that, a bet that is free. Free as in you don’t need to make a deposit or bet a certain amount or anything. It’s just free credit you can use to make a bit. If you win the free bet, the winnings are yours to keep, but sometimes there is a rollover requirement, which means you need to wager a certain amount before you can withdraw the winnings. Still, it’s free. Free bets aren’t as popular as they used to be, so if you see one, jump on it.

Risk-free Bet 

Risk-free bets are different from free bets. Very different. Risk-free bets usually break down like this: After signing up for the promotion and making a wager, if that bet loses, you are awarded site credit in the amount of the losing bet, up to a certain amount. You have a certain amount of time to use that credit on a new wager, usually between 14-30 days. If that wager wins, you can withdraw the winnings but not the credit. FanDuel is the only major sportsbook that allows you to withdraw the credit and winnings. If the second bet loses, you’re out of luck and down the original bet amount. A risk-free bet is a good way to check out a new sportsbook, but be sure to bet with your head.

Deposit Match: There may be some strings attached, but deposit matches are the best promotions out there right now. A deposit match is a match to your first deposit up to a certain amount, usually a few hundred dollars. Once the match hits your account, you can use it on pretty much anything, but you can’t take a prohibitive favorite. Some make you use the credit all at once; others let you divide it up as you see fit. Most only allow you withdraw the winnings rather than the credit and winnings, and some require you to play through the match before withdrawing. As you can tell by now, everything varies by sportsbook. We will update this page with BetFanatics’ specific promotional Terms and Conditions when they are announced.

Odds Boost

This promotion is usually centered around local teams. If a sportsbook is in a state with a popular team, they might increase the odds on a featured parlay for that team. Other odds boosts usually come with high-profile events like the NFL playoffs or NBA Finals. The boost usually isn’t a huge amount, but if you like the underlying bet, an increase can add extra value.

Insurance/Refunds

This promotion is becoming more popular due to the rise of parlay wagering. If you take a swing at a five-leg parlay, for example, and 4 of your 5 bets hit, parlay insurance will pay you back for your wager, up to a certain amount. It’s not as much as you would have gotten from your parlay, but at least your original stake is back in your account.

Fanatics Free Swag/Merchandise

Caesars famously offered NFL and NBA jerseys for new customers who bet $100 or more. This was a huge success for bettors, many of whom took advantage of the generous promotion. It must have been hugely expensive for Caesars, but it did help build their sports betting brand in many states. BetFanatics might offer a similar promotion due to its position as the leading sports merchandise retailer in the country.

Sports Likely to be Offered by BetFanatics

Each state decides the exact list of sports available to be offered by sportsbooks. Most states authorize pretty much any sport played anywhere in the world, but some are a little more conservative. Similarly, some sportsbooks only offer the big American and European sports, while other sportsbooks offer every sport under the sun. We expect BetFanatics to go big, offering as many sports as possible, including:

Betting Markets Expected on BetFanatics

All sportsbooks offer pretty much the same types of bets. Some don’t feature same-game parlays yet, or they limit the number of sports available for them, but other than that, the bet types don’t change much. BetFanatics will offer the following bet types:

BetFanatics Likely Banking Options

Each sportsbook may have similar bet types, but their banking options vary wildly. FanDuel offers the most different deposit and withdrawal options, but many others only offer one or two options. We expect BetFanatics to go big here as well, using their payment processing expertise to pull out all the stops and offering bettors many different ways to fund their accounts, including:

BetFanatics Sportsbook FAQ

When will BetFanatics exist as a sportsbook?

The short answer is we don’t know yet. However, we do know a few things, such as the fact that Fanatics has hired a CEO for the sports betting department, is actively hiring a sportsbook team, has registered a logo with the US Trademark and Patent Office, and has publicly stated the company’s intention to enter the sports betting industry. It seems reasonable to assume that BetFanatics will become a reality sometime in 2022, possibly by kickoff of the 2022-23 NFL season.

Where will BetFanatics operate?

This depends on whether BetFanatics buys an existing sportsbook or creates its own from scratch. If BetFanatics merges with a sportsbook, it will immediately be live in those states where it operates. If BetFanatics goes it alone, it will take longer to get licensed. Still, the company will likely be aiming to enter California, Illinois, Virginia, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and possibly Tennessee, for starters.

Why is BetFanatics important?

This is an interesting question. Usually, Scores And Odds wouldn’t review a sportsbook that doesn’t exist yet, but BetFanatics isn’t just any brand. The Fanatics brand is HUGE, and that is why BetFanatics matters. With the impending sportsbook shake-out that will inevitably result in some consolidation and companies leaving the market, BetFanatics could be entering the industry at the right time. With its business expertise, an enormous trove of data on millions of sports fans, and, most importantly, tons of cash, BetFanatics can immediately make a big splash in the sports betting world.