Fanatics Inks Retail Sportsbook Deal with Columbus Blue Jackets

Fanatics Betting and Gaming has agreed to a partnership with the Columbus Blue Jackets to open a retail sportsbook near the team’s home arena at the end of August.

Jul 25, 2023 • 17:18 ET • 4 min read
Jarmo Kekalainen Columbus Blue Jackets NHL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

An emerging legal sports betting operator has secured a partnership with an NHL franchise.

Fanatics Betting and Gaming has agreed to a partnership with the Columbus Blue Jackets to open a retail sportsbook near the team’s home arena. The facility, which is expected to open at the end of August, will be more than 5,000 square feet and will feature four betting windows, 14 kiosks, a video wall, and 20 TV monitors. The sportsbook will also have a full-service restaurant.

"The Columbus Blue Jackets are constantly seeking new and exciting ways to engage with our fans," said Blue Jackets Sr. Vice President and COO Cameron Scholvin. "We believe this collaboration with Fanatics Betting and Gaming on a world-class sportsbook location just outside the doors of Nationwide Arena in the heart of the Arena District does just that."

Odds at the new sportsbook will be powered by Fanatics Betting and Gaming’s in-house technology, which will be supported by a team of trading suppliers. Customers at Fanatics Sportsbook Columbus will be able to wager on a slew of markets, including the NFL and NBA. 

Scaling up

Fanatics Sportsbook, which went live with online betting sites in 2023, has gained market access to four states in the United States. In January, Fanatics launched online operations in Ohio and opened the Fanatics Sportsbook in Maryland at FedExField in partnership with the Washington Commanders, making the facility the first retail sportsbook inside an NFL stadium. Since then, the company has also gone live with wagering in Massachusetts and Tennessee.

The Fanatics Sportsbook Columbus will allow the company to expand its reach in a state with a growing sports betting market. The Buckeye State legalized both retail and online wagering on Jan. 1 and reported a sports betting handle of $1.1 billion for that month. In January, Ohio generated $209.2 million in revenue from sports wagering but has been unable to replicate the same success.

In April, Ohio reported a $520.6 million total sports betting handle that delivered $63.7 million in taxable revenue, according to figures released by the Ohio Casino Control Commission. A month later, the state generated $57.8 million in revenue behind a $446.2 million handle. Ohio can expect the ability of sportsbooks to drive profits to improve as leagues like the NFL return.

The state has more than 15 licensed operators, including, DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM.

Done deal

Fanatics’ new retail sportsbook in Ohio comes on the heels of winning a bidding war for the U.S. operations of PointsBet. In May, Fanatics agreed to purchase PointsBet’s U.S. business for $150 million. In response to Fanatics’ bid, DraftKings offered PointsBet $195 million. Fanatics would increase its bid to $225 million. On June 30, PointsBet shareholders approved the sale of U.S. operations to Fanatics. PointsBet has online operations in 14 states, including Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York.

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