New York regulators may bless a major legal sports betting deal before the leaves change color.
The New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) met Thursday and discussed the acquisition of the U.S. assets of PointsBet by Fanatics, which has already been approved by the former’s shareholders.
NYSGC Chair Brian O'Dwyer said during the meeting that while the acquisition does not require a transfer of licenses — as Fanatics is buying a PointsBet-related entity that holds the permit — the gaming commissioners believe “increased scrutiny” of the situation is required because control of the license is effectively being transferred.
“To that end, the staff has and will require Fanatics to undergo a thorough examination of character and fitness to operate the license,” O’Dwyer said.
Keeping the regulatory train on the track
When that examination is complete, the commission will consider the findings and recommendations of staff and make a final determination, which will likely happen at the regulator’s September meeting, O’Dwyer added.
The NYSGC review is big for Fanatics because the New York sports betting scene is the biggest legal market in the U.S. right now, and obtaining access to that market was likely a significant reason why Fanatics shelled out $225 million for the U.S. assets of PointsBet. Fanatics also bid for a mobile sports betting license in New York a few years ago but lost out to others, including PointsBet.
PointsBet noted in a recent presentation for investors that teams from the two companies have been "engaging well" on the transition and integration of PointsBet USA into the Fanatics operation.
“Both organizations are very excited about what a combination of the Fanatics brand, database and team together with PointsBet's technology, market access, and team can achieve in the US gaming market,” the presentation noted. “The US state by state regulatory approval processes across our sports betting, iGaming and ADW (racing) jurisdictions is tracking as planned.”