Fanatics Sportsbook wants to expand into 20 US states before the 2023-24 NFL season begins. One way to make that happen could be acquiring other operators and getting the licenses they already have in various jurisdictions. BetParx’s online sportsbook seems to be on the radar for such a takeover, creating questions about the future of the Parx online casino.
The Parx online casino operates in two states and powers a uniquely branded platform in a third. There are several possibilities for how Fanatics and Parx might treat those products in a future deal.
Why Parx online casino might not be part of a Fanatics purchase
To date, Fanatics has focused its entry into the gambling business solely around sports betting. Fanatics has opened its first physical sportsbook at FedEx Field in Maryland. Additionally, Fanatics has license approval for online sports betting in Massachusetts, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Acquiring Parx’s sportsbook would get Fanatics into Michigan and New Jersey, pending regulatory approval. Those licenses might prove worth the cost of the acquisition alone, not to mention any improvements that Parx’s platform could bring to Fanatics.
Parx’s online casino also operates in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In Michigan, the PlayGunLake online casino is that state’s equivalent to Parx. With Fanatics’ business otherwise being completely sports-focused, it might not have much interest in the casino product.
Additionally, Fanatics’ ambitions go beyond Michigan and New Jersey. As previously stated, its goal is to be in 20 states before the next NFL season begins. That means Fanatics might only want to spend the money necessary to get those licenses and invest capital in other places.
Whether it can execute that plan depends on many factors like whether Parx is willing to split its casino and sports betting products. Assuming that would be the case, Fanatics could pass on the casino side. That’s just one possibility, however.
Could Fanatics get into the online casino business?
There are a few reasons why Fanatics might buy the whole package from Parx. For one thing, online casino platforms generate a lot more revenue than online sportsbooks do. In Pennsylvania for December 2022, for example, online casinos collected $166.9 million in revenue. During the same month, sports betting from both online and retail channels generated $71.6 million in revenue.
Taking over Parx’s online casino could provide the company with more revenue even if it’s not so directly tied to its sports merchandising business. Additionally, Fanatics would have to do little work to get it up and running as the platform is essentially turn-key.
If Parx decides it doesn’t want to separate its online casino and sportsbook, Fanatics might have limited options, too. Fanatics could decide that while it might not be ideal, it’s a better situation than other options.
On the other hand, the revenue stream might be what motivates Parx to hold onto the casino product. Parx has yet to register a significant share of the market for online sports betting in any of the states it currently operates.
Parx could narrow its online gambling focus
Going back to Pennsylvania numbers for December 2022, Parx took in just over $20 million in sports bets to make a little more than $2 million in revenue for the month. That put Parx behind seven other licensees in Pennsylvania in terms of handle.
On the casino side, however, Parx was fifth in revenue for that month with $5.2 million for the month. Thus, divesting from the sports betting side of things could afford Parx two opportunities. First, it would streamline Parx’s operations to focus on the aspects of the business with the greatest potential.
Secondly, it would potentially give Parx more cash for its sportsbook than it would see if it continues to operate it. That will all depend on how much Fanatics ponies up for the product, naturally. The bottom line is that there are currently multiple possible futures for Parx’s online casino.
Finally, Fanatics and Parx might not be able to work anything out at all. In that case, things would continue on much as they have been for players on the platform. At this point, though, a takeover and rebrand by Fanatics remains a possibility.