For professional sports clubs in Ohio, retail sportsbooks are quickly becoming a must-have amenity. The Columbus Blue Jackets, a professional ice hockey team based in Ohio, joined the trend when Fanatics Betting and Gaming, an online and brick-and-mortar bookmaker part of a worldwide digital sports platform, revealed plans for a nearby Nationwide Arena.
According to a Fanatics press release, the sportsbook will open at its initial site in late August at 401 North Front Street, right next to the Nationwide Arena. The sportsbook will occupy more than 5,000 square feet with four distinct betting windows. Alongside this, there will also be 14 self-service betting kiosks, 20 TV monitors and one full-sized LED video wall.
“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, Fanatics Betting & Gaming. “The Jackets are one of the youngest teams in the league, and we are excited to leverage our partnership to grow with them and complement our online sports betting experience that is currently being beta-tested in Ohio.”
This partnership comes only a few weeks after Fanatics announced it had increased its offer to buy out the US-facing operations of PointsBet. PointsBet, is ASX-listed and has betting operations in 15 US states.
A bidding war
Since PointsBet announced its withdrawal from the US market, both Fanatics and DraftKings entered into a bidding war for the operator. Despite the initial $150m (£116m) deal being agreed upon between PointsBet and Fanatics, a late $195m offer from DraftKings upped the stakes. A few days later, Fanatics announced it had increased its deal to $225m, which the PointsBet shareholders later approved.
Fanatics Betting & Gaming, the sports betting division of Fanatics, launched its first retail Sportsbook in Maryland in January 2023, and in May 2023 launched the beta version of its mobile Sportsbook in both Tennessee and Ohio. Fanatics intends to launch and operate its Sportsbook and iGaming platform in additional states in 2023.
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