Sports merchandise giant Fanatics is shifting gears by extending its reach into the realm of online gambling. Fanatics iCasino might grace the screens of gambling enthusiasts by year's end, promising a top-notch experience in states where online casinos hold legal status.
Fanatics is renowned for its innovative sports merchandise and is determined to deliver an unparalleled gambling adventure, infusing the market with its unique flair.
Ari Borod, the Chief Business Officer for Fanatics Betting & Gaming, stated, "Fanatics is really a sports business, and so first and foremost, that is what we're going out with,"
However, none of these states currently legalize online casino operations, rendering the immediate launch of Fanatics Casino non-urgent.
Fanatics views iCasino as a lucrative and integral component of its long-term strategy, akin to giants like FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars, and Penn Entertainment.
The strategic integration of iCasino is designed to enhance the extensive Fanatics ecosystem, establishing its status as a comprehensive gaming company.
Borod declared, "We want to make sure that this is another thing we can add to the Fanatics ecosystem of products. But, longer term, as a gaming company, iCasino obviously is a very good business."
The meticulous approach Fanatics adopted for its mobile sportsbook, characterized by extensive beta testing and limited availability, indicates the company's commitment to excellence.
Fanatics is adamant about not rushing the iCasino product to market. The company is unwavering in its pursuit to be the best in the industry, focusing on innovative design and customer experience as top priorities.
Fanatics, initially founded as a sports apparel and merchandise retailer by Michael Rubin, is expanding its horizons by including online casinos in its repertoire.
Even though online casino is deemed more profitable than sports betting in permissible states, the company's sports industry background significantly influences its current priorities.
The need to diversify arises from a desire to retain customers within the Fanatics sphere, preventing them from exploring competitor offerings.
Borod asserted, "If there are people who want to play online blackjack on their phone, we don't want them going to a competitor to do it because we want them to continue engaging with Fanatics. So we're obviously going to have to have that, to give the customer what they want. It's definitely a part of the strategy."
Fanatics' acquisition of the U.S. assets of the Australian-based operator PointsBet in spring has enabled gradual rebranding on the sportsbook side.
PointsBet Casino is currently operational in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and West Virginia. The licensing transfer processes differ from state to state, but Fanatics aims to offer iCasino in each of those states in the upcoming months.
Despite the deliberate approach, Fanatics aspires to revolutionize the industry by injecting innovation into the casino side, as per Borod's opinion.
He stressed the significance of innovation, remarking, "I don't think there's been enough innovation on the casino side. So we are working hard at that as well."
Fanatics aims to introduce its iCasino product by the end of the year but is willing to postpone the release until early 2024 if the product fails to meet the company's stringent quality standards.
This strategic venture marks Fanatics' entry into the lucrative online gambling world, promising an amalgamation of innovation, quality, and a diversified gaming experience for enthusiasts across the permitted states.