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Fanatics to Open Sportsbook with Columbus Blue Jackets
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Fanatics to Open Sportsbook with Columbus Blue Jackets

by Kaidi AloupisAugust 1, 2023

Fanatics to Open Sportsbook with Columbus Blue Jackets

Fanatics announced on Tuesday that there is a sportsbook in the making which will be in partnership with the Columbus Blue Jackets, the location will be adjacent to the Nationwide Arena. The opening is set to take place at the end of August as stated by a press release.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Blue Jackets to bring a world-class retail experience to the Arena District in downtown Columbus,” said Ari Borod, Chief Business Officer of Fanatics Betting and Gaming. “The Jackets are one of the youngest teams in the league, and we are excited to leverage our partnerships to grow with them and complement our online sports betting experience that is currently being beta tested in Ohio.” 

Retail Sportsbook in the Making

The sportsbook in collaboration with the Blue Jackets will reportedly cover an area of 5,000 square feet and have four betting windows, 14 self-service betting kiosks, a massive LED video wall, and 20 TV monitors. It will also contain a full-service restaurant as a way to enhance the experience of visitors. The sportsbook will offer a wide range of legal betting markets for various sports, including hockey, football, basketball, soccer, golf, tennis, MMA, and boxing.

The trading of these markets will be handled in-house, providing a seamless, efficient, and secure betting experience. Cameron Scholvin, the Chief Operating Officer of the Blue Jackets, expressed their enthusiasm for finding new ways to connect with their fan base. Believing that this collaboration with Fanatics of creating a world-class sportsbook location in the center of the Arena District will excite and engage the fans. 

Ohio Teams and Operators

In Ohio, several sports betting laws allow professional franchises and sports organizations to collaborate with operators to establish sportsbooks at or near their venues. Fanatics, in partnership with the Cleveland Guardians, had announced plans to open a retail sportsbook at Progressive Field during this season. A Fanatics spokesman confirmed on Tuesday that the opening is likely to take place late next month. 

All the professional sports teams in Ohio have obtained approval from the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC). However, the state’s two NFL teams, the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals, have taken different approaches.

The Browns plan to introduce a Bally’s sports lounge in FirstEnergy Stadium, while the Bengals have entered into an official sports betting partnership with Betfred. The partnership will include various fan engagement activities, promotions, and free-to-play gaming opportunities, but will not involve the establishment of a sportsbook lounge. 

Other Operators Joining

Fanatics isn’t the only retail sportsbook operating in Ohio, others are also getting in on the action such as Caesars at the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse and BetMGM at the Cincinnati Reds’ Great American Ball Park. BetMGM is planning to relocate its sportsbook away from the ballpark to a more high-traffic area in downtown Cincinnati, as a way to gain more customers. 

Conclusion

Aside from Ohio, Fanatics is looking to gradually introduce digital sportsbooks in Maryland, Massachusetts, and Tennessee through an “invitation-only” mode. They’ve been able to become the only retail sportsbook that’s located inside an NFL stadium, which is at the Washington Commanders’ FedEx Field in Maryland. 

In addition to their retail operations, Fanatics purchased in late June of the US operations of Australian sportsbook Pointsbet, outbidding DraftKings with the final price of $225 million. This impressive move is helping to expand Fanatics’ position in the United States sports betting market as well as expand its presence. 

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About The Author
Kaidi Aloupis