Fanatics is looking to enter the legal sports betting market, and according to CNBC, it plans to do so by acquiring Tipico. Currently, Tipico has a small sports betting business in the U.S. but is a leading sports betting provider in Germany.
The two sides haven’t reached a deal yet, but sources say they are currently in talks over price.
Michael Rubin Clears The Way For Fanatics Sports Betting Venture
Last Wednesday, Michael Rubin, the executive chairman of Fanatics, sold his 10% share of Harris Blitzer Sports Entertainment.
The company owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils. Current NBA rules do not allow team owners to operate gambling platforms.
This move cleared the way for Fanatics to enter the gambling market. The sale is no surprise to those who have been following Rubin’s ambitions.
The company has completed a number of big acquisitions over the last few years, including the purchase of Topps trading card company for $500 million. In the midst of all of this, Rubin has been clear that the sports betting space was in his sights.
Earlier this year, he told Sports Business Journal that Fanatics could be No. 1 in the space in the next decade.
“We can be the No. 1 player in the world in that business in 10 years. That does seem ambitious for someone who’s not in the business today, but our strategic advantages are that we are one of the best-known digital sports brands and we touch so many fans.”
If the Fanatics – Tipico deal happens, it will give Fanatics access to a small number of U.S. markets at the beginning.
Tipico Sportsbook Live In Two US Markets
When it comes to U.S. sports betting brands, Tipico is on the smaller side. The company is only live in New Jersey and Colorado at the moment, with plans to expand to a few more states in the near future.
In September 2021, Tipico announced that it gained market access to Indiana and Iowa through a 10-year deal with Caesars, but has yet to launch in either state.
Things are a little different across the pond. Tipico is the leading sportsbook provider in Germany and offers digital betting entertainment across 30 different sports.
Gannett, the newspaper and media publisher, made Tipico its sports betting partner last year. The contract is for the next five years.
The deal began last football season with Tipico providing custom NFL content (written stories, newsletters, video) across the USA Today Network.