Fanatics, the newest company to enter the Tennessee sports betting market, is looking to launch its app in a slightly different way than its competitors.
The company that made its name as an online sports retailer has unveiled its mobile app, but it’s not a traditional full-scale rollout as other operators previously have done. Monday started the next phase in Fanatics’ venture, with customers in the Volunteer State and Ohio receiving invitations to sign up for the sportsbook.
Its mobile app — there’s no website — is available for Apple and Android devices. Still, only customers in the two states where the initial launch is taking place can access the sportsbook, provided they’ve received a code granting them access.
Fanatics Tennessee Sportsbook plans to gradually expand access in the state to more customers into the summer, a company official told BetTennessee.com.
After conducting a few months of beta testing, Fanatics is planning a gradual release and expansion of its sports betting app, the official said. The goal is to eventually build to a full-scale launch later this year to join the field of Tennessee sports betting apps and a few other states where it’s been approved for licensure.
Fanatics Could Become Major Player
There has been a lot of buzz surrounding Fanatics’ entry into sports betting since the company brought in former FanDuel CEO Matt King a couple of years ago. Given its size, there has been speculation the company formed by Michael Rubin might acquire a company to expedite its launch. For now, the company is using an Amelco platform with plans to do trading in-house.
In the five years of U.S. sports betting growth, DraftKings and FanDuel have emerged as the big two operators, dominating market share in pretty much every state in which they operate.
Some industry insiders and experts think Fanatics might be able to compete at that level. That’s based on its dominance in the retail market, as Fanatics has a database of 95 million customers. If Fanatics can tap into its customer base, it could change the Big 2 into the Big 3.
Once the rollout is complete, Fanatics plans to offer its customers an app that will learn a bettor’s behavior through machine learning.
Background on Tennessee Sports Betting
Tennessee should be a good proving ground for Fanatics.
The online-only sports betting state has issued licenses to 11 other companies, including FanDuel, DraftKings, Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM Tennessee and Caesars Sportsbook, so it will give Fanatics a chance to compete with the biggest players in the industry.
Tennessee is also home to major league franchises in basketball, football, hockey and soccer. The University of Tennessee also enjoys one of the largest and most passional fan bases in major college athletics.
In March, Tennessee bettors wagered $392.7 million on sporting events, with the operators reporting revenues totaling $43.7 million. The state received $8.7 million in taxes from the sportsbooks.
Last month, state lawmakers passed a bill to end the 20% revenue tax and replace it with a 1.85% tax on the monthly handle. That bill awaits Gov. Bill Lee’s signature for it to become law.
BetTennessee.com will keep you updated on any sports betting news in the state, as well as provide Tennessee sportsbook promos.