Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin Discusses 2023 Sportsbook Launch Plans

Written By Giovanni Shorter on April 21, 2023
Fanatics MGC

Fanatics Sportsbook CEO Michael Rubin spoke this week at the CAA World Congress of Sports in Los Angeles. Here Rubin discussed the upcoming plans for the launch of the Fanatics mobile sports betting app. The goal is now for the operation to be live in 12-15 states ahead of the 2023 NFL season. This is a smaller expectation from the 15-20 states projected in October 2022.

Fanatics Original Launch Timeline Abandoned

Not only has Fanatics Sportsbook shifted focus to launching online in fewer markets, but the operator originally was also set to go live in January. The Fanatics app is not yet live in any market, only offering beta testing to some bettors in Ohio and Tennessee. Its retail sportsbook has been operating in Maryland at FedEx Field since February.

Rubin addressed the reasoning behind the company not yet launching its mobile app and the lowering of state launches. “But we’re not in a rush there,” he stated during the conference. Fanatics is supposed to launch in Massachusetts but has yet to do so. There is also no set launch date for Massachusetts.

The company is targeting a launch in May, but no definitive date has been set. Fanatics holds a temporary license in the Old Bay State.

When Can Fans Expect To See The Full Launch

Since Fanatics is a first-time sports betting operation it is no telling exactly how long before the full launch. There is also no guarantee that the company will stick to its May launch window for Massachusetts as early projects continue to change.

Interestingly, no beta test is being run in Massachusetts yet despite that being the next target launch for Fanatics. Sports betting fans in the Old Bay State may not want to hold their breath for Fanatics to stick with that initial launch plan.

Fanatics Media Aspirations

In addition to sports betting and merchandising, Fanatics Sportsbook has aspirations to enter the sports media side of things. Media rights deals are things that Rubin and the company are keeping an eye on for down the line.

“If we do a great job in the commerce business, which is merchandise, do a great job with collectibles, do a great job in online sports betting, we think those three businesses long term can have $8 billion of EBITDA,” said Rubin. “So that’s a big number. That means we could afford to buy any rights we want to long term. And so what we’ve got to do is make those three businesses work and not get ahead of ourselves. And that’s consistent with what I’ve been saying.”

Fanatics’ process may be slower than initially anticipated. However, the company is still set up to be a major player in the industry real soon.

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Giovanni Shorter

Giovanni Shorter is a sports enthusiast and writer with a passion for the legal and industry side of the sports betting market. Giovanni got his education from Florida State University where he honed his writing style writing narratives and short stories. He has spent his professional career covering sports and entertainment through articles and blogs and continues to look at the industry from multiple angles.

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