American licensed sports merchandise giant Fanatics Incorporated is reportedly close to purchasing a sportsbook operator so as to be able to secure one of New York’s coming pair of master online sports wagering licenses.
According to a Thursday report from the online news domain at ActionNetwork.com, the Florida-based company is one of the largest retailers of licensed sports equipment and clothing in the United States and recently expanded into the niche trading card market. The company is purportedly also keen to win one of the coming New York online sportsbetting licenses and last month appointed well-known rapper Jay-Z to serve as the Vice-Chairman of its new Fanatics Betting and Gaming division.
As part of this effort and Fanatics Incorporated has reportedly moreover begun meeting with representatives from the Rush Street Interactive subsidiary of American land-based casino operator Rush Street Gaming so as to discuss a possible acquisition. The source detailed that the Jacksonville-headquartered firm believes it would take too long to create an attractive online sportsbetting operation from scratch and has additionally held similar discussions with Swedish iGaming trendsetter Betsson AB.
Fanatics Incorporated is reportedly furthermore known to have discussed a similar arrangement with DraftKings Incorporated although it is now widely believed that Rush Street Interactive is the frontrunner in its takeover sights. Such a purchase would purportedly represent a good bit of business for the company owned by entrepreneur Michael Rubin as it is already well established with operations in ten American states including New York neighbors Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
New York is home to over 20 million people and intends to grant mobile-friendly online sportsbetting licenses to a pair of ‘platform providers’ by as soon as December with the ambition of being able to annually raise as much as $500 million in new tax revenues. Fanatics Incorporated is reportedly eager to secure one of these potentially-lucrative authorizations for ‘The Empire State’ so as to be able to spin off as many as four separate customer-facing online sports wagering brands, which are colloquially called ‘skins.’
ActionNetwork.com reported that the acquisition of Rush Street Interactive by Fanatics Incorporated makes even more financial sense because the sportsbetting firm has a relatively weak brand despite occupying a top-five spot in terms of gross domestic online sports wagering revenues. This purportedly means that the company would be able to quickly change its name to fit in with a new owner or any subsequent partners such as sports television broadcaster ESPN, whose gambling rights it already holds.
Although neither Fanatics Incorporated or Rush Street Interactive have yet to publicly comment on the likelihood of any such sale, ActionNetwork.com reported that mounting speculation caused the value of the latter firm’s stock to rise by 6.6% yesterday.