Thursday was a big day for Fanatics Sportsbook, as it secured its online sports wagering license in Massachusetts and announced the launch of its retail sportsbook at FedEx Field in Maryland.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission approved the temporary, one-year license for Fanatics after several days of meetings and a long list of questions related to legal matters involving the parent company. After confidential executive sessions, the commissioners agreed they had heard enough to feel mostly comfortable moving forward with the licensure.
Since Fanatics has yet to launch in any state, there were also several questions about what policies and procedures will go in place since many elements are not in place yet. The commissioners were particularly concerned about a responsible gaming plan and stipulated Fanatics must submit their full plan to MGC in advance to launching.
The rough timeline for online sports betting to launch in Massachusetts is March of this year. The exact date has yet to be determined.
While Fanatics Sportsbook plans for Massachusetts to be the first state where the company launches online sports betting, SportsHandle announced yesterday that the company will be opening its first retail sportsbook in Maryland next week.
The sportsbook, which is located within FedEx Field Stadium, will be the first active sportsbook inside an NFL venue. Unfortunately for Fanatics and Maryland football fans, the Washington Commanders failed to make the playoffs and their season ended last week.
However, NFL policy states that on-site sportsbooks cannot be open the same day as games, so it seems Fanatics Sportsbook at FedEx Field will be closed on the most-trafficked days for the property.
These states are the first two in a very aggressive rollout plan for Fanatics Sportsbook. The operator plans to be live in as many as 20 states before the start of the 2023 NFL season in September.