New York Regulators Approve Fanatics-PointsBet Sports Betting Transaction

PointsBet previously said it had transferred eight U.S. operating businesses to Fanatics but was still awaiting authorization in the Empire State.

Oct 4, 2023 • 12:05 ET • 2 min read
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New York regulators signed off on the sale of PointsBet’s U.S. business to the operator of Fanatics Sportsbook on Tuesday, bringing the deal closer to the finish line.

The New York State Gaming Commission’s approval was crucial for Fanatics' legal sports betting plans, as the operator tried and failed in 2021 to obtain a license to operate online sports betting sites there but saw its bid come up short. 

Australia-based PointsBet Holdings Ltd. said in a press release that “interim completion” of the transfer of its New York sports betting business to Fanatics Betting and Gaming has now occurred. 

“In addition, ownership of PointsBet Wyoming LLC has also transferred to [Fanatics],” PointsBet noted. “Transfer of additional U.S. state operations to FBG will take place as the applicable gaming approvals are obtained for those states. Subsequent completion is tracking as planned.”

New name, same game?

PointsBet agreed earlier this year to sell its U.S. business to Fanatics for roughly $225 million. The deal, however, requires certain approvals from state regulators, such as New York. In early September, PointsBet said it had transferred eight U.S. operating businesses to Fanatics but was still awaiting authorization in the Empire State.

Fanatics has said it will rebrand PointsBet in approved states as “PointsBet, a Fanatics Experience,” but the New York commissioners heard Tuesday that Fanatics will keep using the PointsBet mobile app, internal controls, and house rules in the state, among other things.

Not everything will be the same, though, as Fanatics says they will use an "outside entity" to tackle customer service complaints to ensure a smooth transition.

"Fanatics has also advised that they plan to holistically evaluate the PointsBet operation and will seek incremental prospective changes as they determine prudent and appropriate," New York State Gaming Commission executive director Robert Williams told commissioners.

Collectible concerns

The New York State Gaming Commission granted that approval on Tuesday, although its chairman sought assurances from Fanatics (enough of which was received) that it wouldn’t use its Topps trading cards business to encourage sports betting. That concern was driven by the appeal those cards may have for a younger audience.

“As you well know, the commission has over the past year been very concerned about advertising and promotions to people that are underage,” chairman Brian O'Dwyer said.

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