The Nutmeg State’s newest third wheel for sports betting is Fanatics, as the gambling arm of the merchandising giant has entered an alliance with the Connecticut Lottery Corp.
Fanatics Betting and Gaming and the CT Lottery announced their new partnership on Friday, which will make Fanatics Sportsbook the lottery’s exclusive provider of mobile and retail sports betting in the New England state.
Those 21 and older in Connecticut can soon register with Fanatics, which is expected to start operating in the state in “mid-December,” a press release noted.
“With this new partnership, Connecticut sports bettors will enjoy an online sportsbook that makes being a fan easy with fast signup, easy betting, transparent withdrawals, live streaming, industry leading search functionality, the ability to earn FanCash on their bets and a curated Discover page with the sports and bets that matter most to a customer,” the release added.
The Connecticut Lottery has a new sports betting partner: Fanatics, which is expected to take over in mid-December. The CT Lottery was previously partnered with PlaySugarHouse-owner Rush Street Interactive Inc. pic.twitter.com/NU82Flohk4— Geoff Zochodne (@GeoffZochodne) December 1, 2023
Connecticut launched legal sports betting in the fall of 2021, and the lottery initially joined forces with Rush Street Interactive Inc., which launched its PlaySugarHouse sportsbook for online and in-person wagering in the state.
Under Connecticut’s sports-wagering law, only the lottery, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes, and their partners can offer sports betting in the state.
Yet even with limited legal competition, PlaySugarHouse has fallen behind rivals DraftKings and FanDuel, the tribes' partners. In October, PlaySugarHouse generated 7.4% of gross gaming revenue from sports betting in Connecticut, while DraftKings and FanDuel accounted for 42.1% and 50.6%, respectively, according to Vixio GamblingCompliance Data.
Out with the old, in with the new
The wheels were in motion for change long before this football season. Rush Street Interactive and the CT Lottery announced in March of this year that they planned to wind down their sports betting-related collaboration and that the lottery would begin looking for a new operating partner.
That partner is now Fanatics, which is building its sports-betting brand across the U.S. using its vast database of hat and jersey-buyers. Fanatics Sportsbook is live in Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
“We are looking forward to bringing the Fanatics experience to the 10 retail locations throughout Connecticut and more importantly, adding our innovative mobile app to the online choices available in Connecticut,” said Ari Borod, chief business officer, in the release.