Fanatics, the online giant retailer in sports apparel blazing a trail into wagering, has Kansas sports betting on its radar, although the approval process will not happen as quickly as some have reported.
Despite a reference during a New York State Gaming Commission meeting last week that Kansas regulators were close to a decision on Fanatics, a spokesperson for the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission told BetKansas.com on Tuesday he wasn’t sure where New York officials may have heard that.
“Fanatics has supplied all requested documentation requested,” KRGC Government Relations Manager Randy Evans said in an email. “The information is under review… At this time, Fanatics is not on the agenda even for the September Commission meeting. There still needs to be a background investigation completed prior to any licensing decision being made.”
During a presentation about the Florida-based company at last Thursday’s NYSGC meeting, Commission Executive Director Robert Williams mentioned Fanatics was making headway on licensure in a dozen other jurisdictions.
“Iowa and Colorado have advised that they’re close to license consideration, while Virginia and Kansas are expected to consider the licensing by the end of August,” Williams said.
Sports Betting Move Started In 2021
Fanatics has been planning to move into sports betting for a few years. Former DraftKings CEO Matt King was hired to lead the company’s gaming division two years ago.
It launched a retail sportsbook in Maryland at the beginning of the year, and while the company has moved to roll out its own app in Tennessee, Ohio and Massachusetts, Fanatics sought faster growth through acquisition.
The company accomplished that goal in late June when it reached a deal to buy PointBet’s U.S. operations for $225 million.
PointsBet Kansas is one of six sports betting operators currently licensed in the state. The state’s sports betting law allows each of the four casinos to partner with three online operators. However, Fanatics had not announced a partnership with any of the Kansas casinos.
Kansas Crossing Casino, which is partnered with PointsBet, is the only casino to have all three of its Kansas betting apps slots filled and active. Kansas Crossing’s other two partners are BetMGM and Caesars.
Fanatics Starts With Soft Launch
While Fanatics Sportsbook is available online in three states, the company has been operating in a soft launch mode, making its app available to customers in those states and gradually expanding its rollout.
A full-scale launch could happen as soon as later this year.
According to the operator's website, it’s promising a “more personal experience” for sports bettors, with a front screen that includes available games, markets and promos curated especially for the user.
Fanatics users can also earn FanCash by wagering on the site. FanCash is a rewards program where players earn 5% back on same-game parlays, 3% on regular parlays and 1% on straight bets. The balance accrued can be used toward bonus bets or items at Fanatics.com or other related sites.