Fanatics One Of Two New Sportsbooks Coming To Illinois This Year

Written By Dave Briggs on May 15, 2023Last Updated on May 17, 2023

It seems Illinois is ready to greet two new sportsbooks in 2023. Over the weekend, Fanatics finalized a deal to purchase the U.S. operations of PointsBet for a sum of $150 million.

Should the deal receive approval from both shareholders and the Illinois Gaming Board, Fanatics may potentially replace PointsBet in Illinois before the commencement of the profitable NFL season in September.

Circa Sportsbook is targeting to be the eighth sportsbook in Illinois within the same time frame. Circa’s license was approved by the IGB in April. The company informed Play Illinois that they hope to launch in August of this year.

Fanatics would instantly become the fourth biggest Illinois sportsbook operator

If Fanatics were to buy PointsBet’s US operations, they would immediately gain access to the 14 states where PointsBet is currently active.

If Fanatics were to operate in the Prairie State, they would instantly become the fourth largest sportsbook operator in Illinois, which is the second most profitable sports betting market in the nation.

An analysis by Play Illinois revealed that 7.7% of lifetime sports bets in Illinois were placed through PointsBet as of February. This positions PointsBet fourth in the ranking, trailing DraftKings (33.2%), FanDuel (27.3%), and BetRivers (16.1%).

PointsBet held 7.3% of the Illinois sports betting market’s revenue, trailing behind FanDuel with 37.3%, DraftKings with 26%, and BetRivers with 16.6%.

Illinois proves to be a particularly profitable market, especially for sports betting. In March, the state broke its own record with over $1.072 billion placed in sports bets. In terms of handle and revenue, Illinois ranked second in the US in March and maintains the same spot for the year-to-date figures in both categories.

Fanatics currently operates in four states

Currently, Fanatics operates sportsbooks in four states, namely Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Tennessee.

PointsBet currently provides sports betting services in Maryland and Ohio among other locations. If Fanatics acquires it, they would gain access to 14 US markets in total. This includes their existing four markets, and additionally, the 12 markets where PointsBet operates but Fanatics does not.

A press release announced, “Fanatics and PointsBet are thrilled to announce an agreement that will see Fanatics Betting and Gaming acquire PointsBet’s U.S. business. Although several stages remain in the acquisition process, both parties are optimistic about the outcome. Further details about the proposed deal, along with timely updates, will be released by Fanatics Betting and Gaming and PointsBet in the forthcoming weeks.”

Fanatics has a private valuation of $31 billion and it predicts its revenue to reach $8 billion by 2023.

PointsBet found US sports betting market tough sledding

Although PointsBet is the seventh largest online sportsbook operator in the US among over 60 licensees, it has had difficulty reducing the market share controlled by FanDuel and DraftKings.

PointsBet has stated that it does not anticipate a positive cash flow in the near future. Furthermore, it has indicated that its existing cash reserves are insufficient to drive its US business into profitability.

Meanwhile, Fanatics has had tremendous success in the sports apparel and memorabilia markets. The company acquired Topps trading cards for $500 million in 2022.

It is now aiming to capitalize on that success by venturing into the sports betting market.

Their plans will heavily rely on Illinois.

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Dave Briggs

Dave Briggs holds the position of managing editor and writer at Catena Media, specializing in the North American gambling industry. His focus areas include casino, sports betting, horse racing, and poker sectors. Currently, he is covering the gaming industries in Illinois and Canada.

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