Some bettors in the Bay State have a new option starting Thursday.
Fanatics Sportsbook Massachusetts announced it was launching its app a few days earlier than planned to take advantage of Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, which is tipping off Thursday night.
The move comes less than 10 days after the Massachusetts Gaming Commission unanimously approved Fanatics for a Category 3 license, allowing it to offer sports betting online and through a mobile app.
At that time, Fanatics said it planned to launch in the state at the end of the month, but sportsbook staff was able to expedite the rollout, giving bettors a chance to wager on what might be the final Celtics game of the season.
With Fanatics in the mix , there are now eight total Massachusetts sportsbooks live in the state, which started legal online sports wagering March 10.
Massachusetts Makes 3 for Fanatics
Massachusetts now joins Ohio and Tennessee, where Fanatics rolled out its app earlier this year.
Like those two states, Fanatics is opening with a soft launch, or beta testing, phase in Massachusetts. According to the company’s announcement, it would notify eligible individuals the app is live, and they can create an account. Fanatics is allowing certain customers from its online retail operations to have first access to the app. Others still can download the app to their Apple or Android device and be placed on a waiting list.
Adults aged 21 and older can sign up for accounts and start wagering with the best Massachusetts sports betting apps.
Fanatics believes it can leverage its success as an online retailer and parlay that to succeed in gaming. It has a customer database of more than 95 million people.
“Welcome to a more rewarding sportsbook,” the Fanatics announcement stated Thursday. “Bet on the sports you love and earn fan rewards you can’t get anywhere else. New customers can expect fast signup, easy betting and a curated Discover page with the content and bets that matter to you.”
However, Fanatics has said it would not offer the type of bonus it attempted in Ohio, where it tried to offer a free bet to customers who purchased a baseball cap. The operator pulled that promotion after the Ohio Casino Control Commission said it violated the state’s rules on marketing and advertising.
Instead, Fanatics is offering Massachusetts beta testers $200 in bonus bets after placing a $5 bet from their funds.
Big Month for Fanatics
Thursday’s announcement caps off a busy month for the online sports merchandise retailer and emerging sportsbook operator. On May 14 (May 15 in Australia), PointsBet announced it was selling its U.S. sports betting operations to Fanatics, with the Australian gaming company getting $150 million.
The acquisition means Fanatics might be able to launch in additional states, such as New York, before the start of the NFL season. However, that deal is subject to approvals from PointsBet shareholders and reviews from gaming regulators in those states.
Look for Fanatics and other Massachusetts sports betting promos on this site.