FansUnite Targets NJ For First U.S. License Approval

FansUnite Entertainment, a Canadian-based firm that has a major toehold in the Scottish gambling market with aspirations of the same level of success in Brazil, has chosen New Jersey as the place to gain its first U.S. gaming license.

And with that goal in mind, the company announced this week that it has retained prominent gaming law firm Ifrah Law of Washington, D.C. as an adviser.

As FansUnite President Darius Eghdami described it, New Jersey regulators “go a little deeper” than other jurisdictions, including extensive background checks on him and on CEO Scott Burton — which is “fine with us,” Eghdami added.

The company is expected to gain approval from the state Division of Gaming Enforcement in three to five months, with other as-yet-undecided state approvals to follow in 2021, Burton told NJ Online Gambling.

Approval from New Jersey regulators has been a “gold standard” in the U.S. gaming industry since the 1990s, when the state’s stringent approval process made applications to other states a much smoother course once the Garden State imprimatur was attached.

FansUnite already gained a key approval from Malta in December, which opened to door for the company to offer its sports betting and online casino gaming services across a large swath of Europe and beyond.

Software, eSports, and more

The company, which has expertise in developing its own online casino games as well as in eSports, is applying to be approved in New Jersey as a software supplier — a sector that has seen extensive consolidation over the past year.

As for the casino games, Eghdami said that the focus is on developing 10 games by the end of the calendar year with “an eSports video game feel to them.” FansUnite would get a commission whenever someone plays one of its games, so the revenue upside is large if a big hit can be developed.

“This could be a cash cow part of our business,” Eghdami said, noting that one game involves “stealing money from a bank vault, and you never know when the cops will come.”

FansUnite also provides software for the GameCo partnership with Sky Ute Casino in Colorado for the first eSports-only digital sportsbook in the U.S.

Gaming law attorney Jeff Ifrah, whose roots with New Jersey regulators dates back for at least a decade, and his firm “are a great addition to the global legal team that we have assembled to oversee the delivery of FansUnite’s offerings,” Burton said. “With a longstanding career as a prominent attorney in gaming law, Jeff will accelerate our expansion into the highly complex U.S. betting and iGaming market.”

FansUnite’s subsidiary, McBookie Limited, is licensed across the United Kingdom but has a focus on Scotland.

Another partner for FansUnite

FansUnite also recently struck a deal with licensing solution provider OneComply for its U.S. expansion goals.

“The amount of opportunity in North America for new-to-market companies can be overwhelming given the various licensing processes and jurisdictional requirements, with companies no longer trying to enter one jurisdiction, but multiple jurisdictions simultaneously,” OneComply CEO Cameron Conn said in a statement.

“This creates a tremendous amount of lag in productivity even with the most seasoned of compliance and legal teams. We understand the importance FansUnite places on regulation, and we look forward to supporting their scale in the North American market.”

Ifrah and OneComply have collaborated before on numerous occasions.

While FansUnite has worldwide aspirations, recent developments in Canada mean that some provinces — particularly Ontario — may provide gaming partnership opportunities in its native country.

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