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Cam Spencer of the Connecticut Huskies attempts a three-point shot as we look at the latest Connecticut industry news concerning Fanatics.
Cam Spencer #12 of the Connecticut Huskies attempts a three-point shot against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the first half of a game in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden on December 5, 2023. Connecticut defeated North Carolina 87-76. Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images via AFP.

It's out with the old and in with the new in the Connecticut legal sports betting industry.

Fanatics Betting and Gaming – the wagering arm of Fanatics’ gigantic global sports apparel brand – has soft launched its sports wagering product in Connecticut, thanks to a partnership with the Connecticut Lottery Corporation. Connecticut becomes Fanatics Sportsbook's ninth state of operation.

The latest Connecticut sports betting app faces stiff competition in the Nutmeg State, with heavyweight, established providers FanDuel and DraftKings dominating the market share.

A company press release read: “Fanatics Sportsbook will be the official odds provider for all CT Lottery retail sports betting locations and offer legal betting markets for all major sports including professional and college football, basketball, hockey, baseball, alongside tennis, soccer, golf, MMA and boxing. The development and trading of sports betting markets will be done in-house at Fanatics Betting and Gaming and supported by a number of world-class trading suppliers.”

Fanatics brings its retail and online sports betting platform to the Connecticut market on a limited basis for the time being, with a full-blown launch taking place Monday, December 18.

Fanatics takes the place of Rush Street Interactive's PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook, which has failed to gain much traction in Connecticut and has consistently trailed both FanDuel and DraftKings in the battle for market share there.

What the "soft" launch means

Fanatics Sportsbook will offer a full rollout of their sportsbook on Monday but is giving 2,000 online customers a chance of registering and placing bets with the brand ahead of Week 15 of the NFL season.

Lucky Fanatics' online customers will also have limited times in which they can place a sports bet prior to its full-scale launch. Bettors in the Nutmeg State were able to access the Connecticut betting site from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday, its first day of launch, will be able to place bets from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday and will have full 24-hour access from Friday to Sunday.

Retail betting, however, kicked off with a full rollout in the Connecticut Lottery's 10 brick-and-mortar gambling locations.

What Fanatics’ presence means

The Connecticut Lottery has failed to gain a reasonable legal sports betting market share with the likes of FanDuel and DraftKings dominating the state's scene. New blood was needed for the Lottery and their desire to become a bigger player in the Nutmeg State scene.

Enter Fanatics, an established global sports apparel company that boasts an estimated 95 million customer database, and one that has been on a serious march toward sports betting provider relevancy since their $225 million acquisition of PointsBet's American assets earlier this year.

Fanatics is now live in nine U.S. jurisdictions and seems to be making its mark among the best sports betting sites.

According to Greg Smith, CT Lottery president and CEO, “We have been impressed with the Fanatics team, their aggressive entry into the U.S. sports betting market, and we are excited to see how they redefine the sports betting customer experience here in Connecticut. CLC anticipates notable market share growth as a result of this partnership.”

What else Fanatics brings to Connecticut

Fanatics not only brings fresh oxygen into the Connecticut sports betting apps scene, but it will offer a strong responsible gaming element as a compliment to their platform. Responsible gaming was a serious topic of discussion ahead of their partnership deal with Fanatics. A 24/7 Chat line will be open to its customers in the Nutmeg State as well as a comprehensive Help Center, compete with responsible gaming tools.

Fanatics customers in Connecticut also become immediately eligible for the company's highly regarded Fanatics Sportsbook Rewards program that provides generous bonuses and added betting perks for its customers. The program also offers 1%-5% Cash Back option for customers to use toward a fully stocked Fanatics store, which includes the company's elite sports apparel products.