Prominent sports merchandise company Fanatics is reportedly in discussions to take over the BetParx sportsbook. CNBC reported the rumors on Friday, explaining that its sources are close to the matter but cannot comment publicly. Fanatics has been looking for opportunities to gain more of a foothold in the burgeoning US sports betting sector for some time.
Fanatics has reportedly already signed a letter of intent to acquire the sportsbook
While no final agreement has been reached, Fanatics has reportedly already signed a letter of intent to acquire the sportsbook. It is unclear what price Fanatics plans to pay for the sportsbook and there is no guarantee that there will be a final agreement. Neither BetParx nor Fanatics representatives provided CNBC comment.
Expanding its sports betting reach
Fanatics already has plans to launch its own branded sportsbook in several states. It is set to open a Fanatics Sportsbook at FedEx Field, the home venue of the NFL’s Washington Commanders. It has also received a temporary license to launch a sportsbook in Massachusetts.
Fanatics’ target is to have a sports betting presence in 15-20 states by the start of the next football season. Acquiring an operator like BetParx would accelerate this goal. The BetParx sportsbook first went live in March 2022 in Pennsylvania. It subsequently launched in Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, and New Jersey.
Fanatics was only able to get involved in the sports betting market after its executive chairman Michael Rubin sold his 10% stake in the company that owns the New Jersey Devils and the Philadelphia 76ers last year. Certain professional sports leagues have rules that prevent team owners from being involved in sports betting operations.
Fanatics reportedly has plans to hold an initial public offering (IPO), but it seemingly wishes to consider making some acquisitions in the betting, gaming, and collectibles spaces before doing so. Late in 2022, it raised $700m in additional capital to fuel potential deals.
previously discussed a possible deal with Tipico, but nothing ultimately came to fruition
The US sports betting landscape is very competitive, with operators spending massive sums in an attempt to acquire customers and gain brand recognition. Many of the smaller operators have been struggling to keep up; some, such as MaximBet, have even withdrawn from the market. Fanatics has previously discussed a possible deal with Tipico, but nothing ultimately came to fruition.