US sports merchandise and commerce brand, Fanatics, is reportedly in discussions to acquire BetParx as it is seeking ways to establish a presence in sports betting.
According to the information provided by unnamed sources, Fanatics signed a letter of intent to buy the BetParx sportsbook but a price is yet to be determined and discussions may not result in an agreement, reported CNBC. People providing the information have no authorization to speak publicly on the matter and wished to remain anonymous, the reporting media outlined.
A wholly owned subsidiary of Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment, BetParx is live in Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. It is not clear whether the discussions for the acquisition include BetParx online casino.
Establishing a presence in the sports vertical was one of the major goals for Fanatics and the e-commerce giant has been trying to acquire a sportsbook brand in the past 12 months, exploring acquisitions with both US-based and several international brands among which Tipico.
Fanatics’ chief executive officer Michael Rubin made a bold statement during the CAA World Congress of Sports in October last year, saying that by the next NFL season, he hopes to see the company live with sports wagering in at least 15 states.
During a meeting of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) earlier this month, Fanatics Holdings, the parent behind Fanatics Betting and Gaming (FBG), re-affirmed plans for its betting business to become operational in multiple states in the first business quarter of the year, outlining Ohio and Maryland as the other states to launch first, besides Massachusetts.
First Retail Sportsbook
And while plans for the company’s mobile sportsbook are still unclear, Fanatics opened its first retail sportsbook inside the stadium of the Washington Commanders, making it the first sportsbook inside an NFL stadium.
Last week, the MGC voted unanimously to grant Fanatics preliminary suitability for a Category 3 license in a state where Fanatics has market access via Penn National’s Plainridge Park Casino.
Fanatics also made some additions to its betting division led by former FanDuel CEO Matt King as part of its preparations to enter the sports betting space such as the appointment of Andrea Ellis as its chief financial officer to bring on board her expertise in technology, products and operations, and former FanDuel senior director Andrew Kleiman as vice president of Retail Operations. Expanding through acquisitions is Fanatics’ signature for growth as in 2021 alone the company acquired Topps to expand in the collectibles business and clothing brand Mitchell & Ness.