Sports merchandise company Fanatics is in discussions to acquire sports betting firm Tipico, according to reports from CNBC.
The outlet has reported that talks between the two parties are currently ‘at an impasse on price’, but conversations are ongoing.
In the US, Tipico currently only has a market presence in the states of Colorado and New Jersey, but it is also one of the leading sports betting providers in the German market.
Reports of Fanatics looking to acquire Tipico follow the announcement made by the company’s CEO, Michael Rubin, earlier this week that he would be departing from the ownership team behind the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils sports franchises.
Rubin cited the league ownership rules as the primary reason he is selling off his 10% shares of Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment (HBSE), which owns the 76ers and Devils.
The CEO said in his statement: “As our Fanatics business has grown, so too have the obstacles I have to navigate to ensure our new businesses don’t conflict with my responsibilities as part-owner of the Sixers.
“With the launch of our trading cards and collectibles business earlier this year — which will have individual contracts with thousands of athletes globally — and a soon-to-launch sports betting operation, these new businesses will directly conflict with the ownership rules of sports leagues.”
Fanatics has made its intentions of entering the sports betting industry clear for a while now, as it appointed former FanDuel CEO Matt King as CEO of its Betting and Gaming division last year.
Last month, the firm also filed a trademark on ‘BetFanatics’ for ‘entertainment services in the nature of sports betting; providing casino facilities; online gaming services; organizing, arranging, conducting sports betting and gambling tournaments, competitions and contests’.
Just a day after Rubin’s announcement, the Maryland Lottery also gave initial approval to Fanatics for a sports wagering facility operator license in the state.