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BETTING

Fanatics Makes its Online Casino Debut in West Virginia

Joe Burrow Fanatics Super Bowl Party Miami Beach
Michael Rubin's Fanatics Super Bowl Party at Loews Miami Beach Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Fanatics/AFP.

Fanatics rolled out its online casino to customers in West Virginia where they can play virtual slots, roulette, and blackjack.

Fanatics Live in West Virginia

Fanatics bought PointsBet’s U.S. assets over the summer for $225 million and the transition has been staggered with the brand morphing from PointsBet to “PointsBet, a Fanatics Experience,” to Fanatics. And West Virginia is the latest state to not only get the Fanatics Sportsbook – having done away with any mention of PointsBet – but the company’s iCasino product as well.

The transition from PointsBet to Fanatics has been reported as seamless with existing PointsBet customers logging directly into the Fanatics Sportsbook using the same ID name and password that they used to sign in to the PointsBet app.

Any settings, balances, and rewards points will be automatically transferred to the Fanatics Sportsbook app.

Exclusive Feature

Those customers in the Mountain State not only have access to Fanatics Sportsbook but also its iCasino platform due to West Virginia being one of only a handful of states that have legalized, regulated, and licensed online casino gambling.

Online slots, roulette, and blackjack are available as well as the new Fanatics Blackjack game found exclusively on the Fanatics Sportsbook app which incorporates access to its online casino as well, according to the company.

Fanatics Betting & Gaming Chief Business Officer Ari Borod had been asked only a few months ago about Fanatics’ foray into the iGaming realm and said, “I think we should have our iCasino product live by the end of the year. But if we don’t feel it’s perfect yet, then it will be live at the beginning of next year. We have the same commitment to improving the product on the casino side as we do in sports.”

Sports Still the Focus

As we now know, the Fanatics iCasino app is up and running but Borod insists the company’s focus is set squarely on sports betting despite iGaming being much more lucrative.

“Fanatics is really a sports business,” Borod said. “And so first and foremost, that is what we’re going out with. … But longer term, as a gaming company, iCasino obviously is a very good business.

“Also, if there are people who want to play online blackjack on their phone, we don’t want them going to a competitor to do it, because we want them to continue engaging with Fanatics. So, we’re obviously going to have to have that, to give the customer what they want. It’s definitely a part of the strategy.”

Fanatics Making Moves

Fanatics has taken a very deliberate and cautious approach to its entry into the domestic gaming market. Matt King, the CEO of Fanatics Betting, said at the SBC Conference earlier this year, “This is a 10-year journey. We’re going to move very methodically through that 10-year journey. And by doing that and taking that approach, it allows you to be a bit more considered in your decisions. You can kind of move slower, slightly slower today, in order to move fast later.”

One of the key advantages Fanatics has is its expansive customer list as one of the nation’s largest sports merchandisers, of which some can be converted into sports betting customers.

“Our vision is to get the digital sports fan anything they want in one place,” Fanatics’ founder and owner Michael Rubin said. “Our dream in five years or 10 years from now, you go to the Fanatics Sports app and you can do anything you want. You can buy your merchandise, you can get your collectibles, buy and trade them, you can bet on sports, you can get tickets in one place, you can watch live sports.”

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