NY Gaming Commission Wants ‘Increased Scrutiny’ On Fanatics

NY Gaming Commission Wants ‘Increased Scrutiny’ On Fanatics
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

The New York State Gaming Commission might not need to approve Fanatics’ pending takeover of PointsBet’s U.S. gaming operations, but the regulatory body will review the Florida-based company anyway before it can launch in New York sports betting.

That’s what Chairman Brian O’Dwyer said at the end of the commission’s meeting Thursday after hearing a presentation from Executive Director Robert Williams regarding the sports apparel retailer’s plans to further expand its gaming division.

“While a transaction, a corporate buyout, does not require a transfer of licenses, the commissioners here today are convinced that since effective control of a license has transferred to a new entity, that increased scrutiny of this license holder transfer is necessary,” O’Dwyer said. “To that end, the staff has and will require Fanatics Sportsbook NY to undergo a thorough examination of character and fitness to operate the license.”

O’Dwyer said the commission would then take action after that examination is completed. That action might happen at the NYSGC meeting next month.

A date has yet to be set for that meeting.

Must be 21+ to participate & present in NY. Gambling problem? Call (877-8-HOPENY) or text HOPENY (467369). Visit BetMGM.com for Terms & Conditions. US promotional offers not available in NY, NV, or Puerto Rico.

Seeking Access in the Top U.S. Market

If approved by the NYSGC, Fanatics will have a presence in the largest sports betting market in the U.S. and be one of only nine New York sports betting apps.

Fanatics has had plans to enter the sports betting market for years, having hired former FanDuel CEO Matt King to lead its gaming operations two years ago. The company submitted a bid in 2021 to operate in New York, but the NYSGC did not accept that offer, which also included Barstool Sportsbook.

Currently, Fanatics has retail or online sportsbooks in Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio and Tennessee. The company’s online sportsbooks have held soft launches, with its retail-side consumers invited to download its app. A full-scale launch is anticipated, perhaps as soon as later this year.

With more than 95 million customers in its database, Fanatics believes it can leverage that to acquire sportsbook users and become a major player in the gaming industry.

Williams told the commission that Fanatics has scrubbed its database to remove all customers under 21, the legal age to place a sports bet in New York.

Fanatics agreed to buy the Australian-based company’s U.S. operations in late June for $225 million. That price was a 50% increase from its initial offer and countered a $195 million bid by DraftKings to buy the American assets of PointsBet. DraftKings NY is the second-largest operator in New York, behind only FanDuel NY.

The purchase of PointsBet, which has a presence in 14 states, will allow its sports betting operation to expand more rapidly across the country.

A Fanatics spokesperson told EmpireStakes.com the company had no comment after Thursday’s NYSGC meeting.

Must be 21+ to participate. T&Cs apply.


Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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