It’s been a winding road for Fanatics Sportsbook to officially launch in Ohio, but that day has finally arrived.
The retail giant unveiled its Ohio online sportsbook on Aug. 16, and the platform checks all the right boxes upon first review. Fanatics offers a sleek, fast platform that is easy to get into and use.
Even better: Fanatics hit the Ohio market with a generous $200 in bonus bets for new users.
I was happy to add another app to my collection of sportsbooks that have offered bonus bets to get started. After a few hiccups during ID verification, I was able to log in and check out the newest Ohio online sportsbook on the market.
Fanatics Sportsbook builds for ‘long-term’ in Ohio
Fanatics was approved to launch in Ohio as early as Jan. 1 but chose to spend time beta testing the app first. The company made the sportsbook available to select users in Ohio and Tennessee in April.
Fanatics says this additional preparation has set the sportsbook up for the long-term.
“After six months of beta testing, we are excited to officially launch the Fanatics Sportsbook product to the public,” said Scot McClintic, chief product officer, Fanatics Betting and Gaming. “We are laser focused on solving pain points facing customers by offering a faster, easier, and a more rewarding sports betting experience.
“The strategic patience to build a product for the long-term has given us an opportunity to redefine a customer’s expectation of what a sportsbook should be. With the Fanatics Sportsbook product foundation built and wholly owned, customers should expect unparalleled speed of feature improvement, delivery, and innovation.”
Fanatics available in Ohio with new promo
Fanatics officially hit the market on Aug. 16 in Ohio, Maryland, Massachusetts and Tennessee.
The sportsbook’s website doesn’t say anything about the $200 bonus bet sign-up offer, but it appears on the app once you download it. All you have to do is place one $10 bet in order to receive the 10 bonus bets of $20. My bonus bets appeared before my first bet even settled.
The bonus bets expire one week later, so I’ll probably be using Fanatics all weekend. It’s also nice that they’re in $20 increments rather than a larger amount that I wouldn’t normally bet.
It’s always kind of a bummer to score $50, $100 or $200 bonus bets and have fewer chances of winning. Of course, you could always use multiple $20 bonus bets on the same wager if you do want to load up.
Signing up was a breeze: You just have to type in the typical new-user details like name, address, last four digits of your social and then allow the app to scan your driver’s license.
I chose to use facial recognition, which caused a temporary delay — the app was spinning its wheels at first. I closed it and tried again, and the same thing happened. Without the ID verification complete, I was unable to make a deposit.
These things happen, and I was able to have the situation rectified by someone in tech support. (Fanatics offers a 24/7 live chat within the App and [email protected] to help with such issues.)
Fanatics app is sleek, fast and user-friendly
This might sound simple, but the Fanatics Sportsbook Ohio app is really nice. The design is clean and sleek, and everything is organized and intuitive. It is also really fast.
I think it’s most comparable to FanDuel, in part because the live odds are encircled by red or green boxes as they change. FanDuel Sportsbook is also super fast with a great design.
Speed is one of the more frustrating issues I have with sportsbook apps. I really like bet365 Sportsbook Ohio, but it lags a little, and BetMGM Sportsbook Ohio takes too many steps to log you in. The lag time can make you wonder if you need to click a link for a sports or bet type a second time. It’s a small issue, but when you click on something it needs to happen.
Bet365 and DraftKings Sportsbook Ohio are my go-to books, largely because they offer a ton of baseball odds boosts. I’d say Fanatics is better-looking than even DraftKings, and it’s faster than bet365.
On Aug. 16, Fanatics had a couple of odds boosts up, too: The “MLB Wednesday Double-Double” boosted a bet on Austin Riley and Whit Merrifield to each hit doubles from +1520 to +1800, and the “MLB Power Plays” bet on Aaron Nola, Kevin Gausman and Justin Verland to each record 5+ strikeouts was boosted from -110 to +130. Each of these bets had a $50 max, which is quite high for a boosted bet.
We’ll have to see whether the odds boosts are always focused on parlays. The only thing listed under the “promos” tab in the betting carousel was the $200 in bonus bets offer. DraftKings and bet365 sprinkle odds boosts into their carousels almost daily — and you get to choose what to use them on. That’s a lot better than pre-made parlays, even if they’re boosted.
FanCash loyalty program automatically tallies rewards
Fanatics integrates rewards that can be used to buy merchandise in the Fanatics retail store.
Called “FanCash,” you earn percentages of your bets back that can be spent on either bonus bets or merchandise at fanatics.com. The program offers 5% FanCash on same-game parlays, 3% on regular parlays and 1% on straight bets.
Fanatics could become a player in Ohio
Ohio’s sports betting market is very competitive with 18 online sportsbooks available.
Fanatics clearly intends to carve a foothold in the market after so meticulously planning its entrance. The company in May purchased PointsBet, which is already operating in Ohio. Fanatics will be able to merge the PointsBet userbase instead of starting from scratch after missing the first six months of the legal betting market.
“Fanatics Sportsbook will integrate the best parts of the PointsBet tech platform to supercharge its sports betting engine,” the company said in a press release. “The Fanatics Sportsbook will also leverage PointsBet’s quantitative driven trading models from Banach Technology in its new state-of-the-art risk and trading platform.”
In June, PointsBet took around $2.2 million in bets and made $244,000 in revenue. Fanatics also had a handle of about $2.2 million — combining those figures would make Fanatics the eighth-biggest sportsbook in Ohio, just behind Hard Rock and ahead of Tipico.