Fanatics customers will get the first look at the newest Ohio sports betting app to hit the market.
On Monday, the online sports retailer began sending out invites to its shoppers in the Buckeye State to access Fanatics Ohio Sportsbook. Those Ohioans joined customers in Tennessee in also getting initial access.
While the sports betting app is available for download on Apple and Android devices, only customers who receive a code from Fanatics will be able to place wagers in those two states, a company representative told BetOhio.com.
The operator plans to gradually expand access in Tennessee to more customers into the summer.
After conducting a couple months of beta testing, Fanatics is planning a gradual release and expansion of its sports betting app, the official said. The goal is to eventually build to a full-scale launch later this year for Ohio sports betting and a few other states where it’s been approved for licensure.
Fanatics Drawing Interest
There has been a lot of buzz surrounding Fanatics’ entry into sports betting since the company brought in former FanDuel CEO Matt King a few years ago. Given its size, there has been speculation that the company formed by Michael Rubin might acquire a company to expedite its launch. For now, the company is using an Amelco platform with plans to do trading in-house.
In the five years since sports betting has grown across the U.S., FanDuel and DraftKings have emerged as the big two operators, dominating market share in almost every state where they operate.
Some industry insiders and experts think Fanatics might be able to compete with the industry leaders. That’s based on its dominance in the retail market, with a database of 95 million customers. If they can tap into their customer base, they might turn the Big Two into the Big Three.
Once the rollout is complete, Fanatics plans to offer its customers an app that will learn a bettor’s behavior through artificial intelligence and use that intelligence to offer other markets that might interest them.
Ohio Sports Betting Background
By launching in Ohio, Fanatics is entering sports betting through a state that has emerged as a very competitive market in the short time wagering has been allowed there.
Currently, there are 17 other online operators active in the state. In March, those companies took in $715.3 million in wagers, per a report from the Ohio Casino Control Commission. That’s the fourth-highest handle of any U.S. state for the month.
Only New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois have larger populations, and Ohio features two NFL teams, two MLB franchises, two MLS squads, an NBA team and an NHL team. It’s also a huge college sports state, thanks mostly to the fanbase behind the Ohio State Buckeyes.
The company has access to the state through an agreement with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. Besides the online app, Fanatics has a license to operate a brick-and-mortar sportsbook near Nationwide Arena, the Blue Jackets home ice in Ohio’s capital.
That will be Fanatics’ second retail sportsbook. In January, it opened one at FedEx Field, the Washington Commanders stadium.
For a variety of Ohio sportsbook promo codes, check out BetOhio.com.