Fanatics Two-Fer: Approved for Massachusetts Sports Betting License and Launching Sportsbook in FedEx Field

  • Fanatics has been given approval for a Category 3 Massachusetts sports betting license
  • Fanatics will also sponsor a sportsbook inside FedEx Field in Maryland
  • The company will be tethered to Plainridge Park Casino in Massachusetts
  • The FedEx Field sportsbook comes through a partnership with the Commanders
Fanatics logo on smartphone
Fanatics had a busy week, receiving approval to join the Massachusetts sports betting market and launching a sportsbook inside FedEx Field. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Fanatics sports betting 

It’s been a busy week for Fanatics, which was approved as a Massachusetts sports betting operator and soon-to-be on-site betting partner of the Washington Commanders.

In the last two days, the sports apparel retailer has drastically increased its position in the market. It received unanimous approval to join the Massachusetts sports betting market and will open its first retail betting location inside FedEx Field.

fast-tracked to move up the world of online and in-person betting

The company is now fast-tracked to move up the world of online and in-person betting, especially during football season.

Obtaining approval in Massachusetts

Fanatics met with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) multiple times before it was granted its temporary betting license approval. The latter required the former to provide them with an internal model to promote safe gambling before being granted access to the market.

can provide betting odds at brick-and-mortar locations

Fanatics is now on track to receive a Category 3 sports betting license, meaning that it can provide betting odds at brick-and-mortar locations once that state’s market opens on January 31. The online and mobile markets have an estimated launch date of March and will require operators to possess a Category 1 license.

The company’s license will be tied to Plainridge Park Casino. Penn Sports Interactive, owner of Barstool sportsbook, also holds a license through Plainridge.

The decision is a quick reversal of the MGC’s previous stance on Fanatics. Last week, the regulator expressed concern over the company’s intent to cross-sell sports merchandise and sports betting services to patrons.

Fanatics is still yet to unveil its online platform to the public. There were hopes that this would be a moot point, but the company has opted to hold a behind-closed-doors reveal.

DraftKings, FanDuel, and Betr are all in the process of pitching their services to the MGC. Several others are on the horizon, and Caesars, BetMGM, and WynnBet have already been approved.

On-site in FedEx Field

While Fanatics just struck success in New England, it is also breaking barriers outside the nation’s capital. 

With the help of the Washington Commanders, Fanatics is launching its first in-person sportsbook inside FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. It will open for business on January 20, pending regulatory approval, just in time for the second round of the NFL playoffs and ahead of the all-important Super Bowl.

through its partnership with the Commanders

Fanatics received a sports betting license in November through its partnership with the Commanders, a few months after FedEx Field passed a vote 6-1 as a new site for sports betting.

NFL policy mandates that in-arena sportsbooks remain closed on days when the host team is in action. The exception to the rule is the Arizona Cardinals, who can keep their sportsbook open since it is .3 miles away on campus grounds, but not directly a part of the stadium.

The Commanders were reportedly aware of the league’s rule and still applied for (and received) their license last year. Sports betting is already legal in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C., and local bettors will be ready to go when the venue opens.

Fanatics CEO Michale Rubin said last fall that the company plans to offer sports betting in 15-20 states by the time the next football season starts.