PointsBet Introduces “A Fanatics Experience” in Michigan Despite Regulatory Drawbacks



  • Fanatics announced on September 1 that it would be rebranding PointsBet in seven states (excluding Michigan) to “PointsBet, A Fanatics Experience.
  • However, on Monday, September 11, PointsBet’s online sportsbook and casino operations in Michigan already had the new branding.
  • Fanatics recently acquired PointsBet but is yet to secure regulatory approval and requisite licensing from the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

An interesting development on September 11 saw the casino and sportsbook platforms of PointsBet in Michigan display the brand tag “A Fanatics Experience.” 

It’s no news that Fanatics acquired the entire US assets of PointsBet in a massive deal finalized in May 2023. However, before starting full scale operations, Fanatics requires regulatory approval in Michigan and almost a dozen other states. Pending the grant of a license from the MGCB, the company excluded Michigan from the list of seven states where it planned to rebrand PointsBet.

Thus, it came as a surprise to most customers when the PointsBet Casino Michigan and PointsBet Sportsbook MI donned the rebrand tagline.

The MGCB Breaks Silence on Fanatics’ Takeover of PointsBet in Michigan

At the start of September, Fanatics announced that its operations will start in 11 US jurisdictions by the start of the new NFL season. Prior to this time, Fanatics Sportsbook had been operating in Ohio, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Tennessee. However, in seven other states where the company did not have regulatory approval, it will gradually rebrand to “PointsBet, A Fanatics Experience.”

The states scheduled for this rebrand were Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Colorado, Kansas and Virginia. States like Michigan, Illinois and New York were excluded from the proposed experience upgrade. Reacting to questions about Michigan’s exclusion from states to rebrand to “PointsBet, A Fanatics Experience,” the MGCB representatives had this to say:
“Like any other online operating entity, Fanatics will need to ensure their proposed branding meets our established branding and branding-related requirements, as specified under Section 4(7) of Michigan’s Lawful Internet Gaming Act and Lawful Sports Betting Act.”

This provision of Michigan’s law simply allows an iGaming operator in Michigan to offer its services under a maximum of two separate brands, one for interactive poker and the other for regular casino games. Operators are also permitted to combine these two game styles under one brand. Most importantly, only internet gaming operators or their gaming platform providers may accept wagers in the state.

Additionally, all apps and websites used to offer iGaming services must show the brand name of the operator or an affiliate, if any. iGaming operators are also allowed to display their names and logos and those of at most one platform provider.

Fanatics Await Approval Amid Highly Profitable Michigan Online Casino Industry

The Northern Waters Casino Resort still lists PointsBet as its authorized online gaming provider in the state. However, the law permitting listing a gaming platform provider and an operator has allowed Fanatics to move ahead with the name change. Nevertheless, important regulatory details are yet to be finalized. The company’s name is, in fact, yet to be listed on the latest vendor and supplier license list published by the MGCB.

Michigan is positioning itself as one of the best states for online gaming investment. So, Fanatics may well be keen on cashing in on the growth of the industry in the state. PointsBet is a good example of the massive potential that exists. The casino operator has gained almost $5 million in additional revenue throughout the first seven months of the year, an improvement of 101.6% from the same period in the previous year. 

Michigan Set to Welcome More Expansions in Retail and Online Gambling

It is hoped that Fanatics Casino Michigan and Fanatics Sportsbook MI goes live before the end of the year. But there are other expansion options in the Michigan gambling industry. A case in point is the Bay Mills Resort & Casino. The tribal-owned commercial gaming outlet is expanding its physical center with the $100 million project scheduled for completion in autumn of 2025.

The interior is set to be upgraded and will include 134 rooms with balconies, a nail salon, hot tubs, an arcade, a fitness center, conference spaces and a store front. The exterior will also feature gardens, gazebos, fishing piers and outdoor patios. This news comes several months after the Bay Mills Indian Community announced that it was shutting down Kings Club Casino.

Elsewhere, anticipation is building ahead of the release of the revenue report from Caesars Palace Casino MI. Caesars launched a stand-alone casino app in August featuring over 500 games to become its mainstay casino gaming platform while Caesars Casino remains within the sportsbook app. There are no doubts that this will drive up additional revenue and expand the industry’s numbers.

Jessica is a news contributor to Gamble Online Michigan. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics but has over three years of experience working in the hospitality and gambling industry. Despite her core finance and investment banking background, she has been a casino feature writer for N1 Interactive Limited and multiple gambling affiliate sites. Her work has been featured on the bet365 blog, casino.zone and Max Force Racing. She spends her time between Michigan and California, staying up-to-date on the latest industry developments