Rapper Jay-Z has applied for an online sportsbook license to the New York Gaming Commission according to an exclusive by TMZ. Sources with direct knowledge told TMZ that he along with his friend Michael Rubin, of Fanatics and a partner of Philadelphia 76ers have formed Fanatics Sportsbook. They have teamed up with software company Kambi which develops online sports gambling software and have submitted their application to the New York Gaming Commission (NYGC).
Fanatics Sportsbook will face heavy competition from
- Caesars Sportsbook
Jay-Z allegedly has an edge over the others not just because of his Empire State of Mind. He is the only Black applicant as well as being a prominent personality. New York is his home state, and he is well known for hiring diverse groups in both race and gender as he has already done so in Roc Nation. Sources say that NYGC will grant approval to two groups while others say it could be more. The Commission has time till the end of the year to make its decision.
According to redacted documents seen by Page Six, the Fanatics Betting & Gaming executive team has hired Matt King, who was former chief executives at FanDuel, as its CEO and Jay-Z would be the vice chairman. His name as potential license holder was blocked out, according to sources who spoke to Page Six.
The successful billionaire rapper was one among the new investors last week who invested in Fanatics which is a sports apparel giant. It secured $325 million in funding and has a market value of $18 billion. According to Bloomberg, Rubin has been looking to expand his business interests beyond sports apparel and is looking to venture into diverse fields like gaming and ticketing as well as media.
Jay-Z is one of the most successful music rappers who has been diversifying his interests and building a strong financial empire alongside his social activism. He had recently sold his champagne brand to Moet Hennessy. He still has a cognac brand D’Usse. He recently sold his streaming service, Tidal to Square and joined its board. The CEO of Square is his buddy Jack Dorsey.