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Jay Z Makes Bid to Enter World of Online Sports Gambling

Source @michaelrubin / Instagram
A week after Jay Z and his entertainment company Roc Nation joined other new investors to secure $325 million in order for the the e-commerce powerhouse Fanatics to expand its offerings into gaming, ticketing and media, after dominating the sports apparel market — the billionaire music mogul has teamed up with Fanatics founder Michael Rubin to form Fanatics Sportsbook.

“Jay-Z and 76ers’ owner Michael Rubin are applying for a gaming license to form Fanatics Sportsbook, in what would be the newest and latest sportsbook in New York, per source,” ESPN writer Adam Schefter wrote in a tweet on Monday (August 16). “The process is expected to take a few months, but a big business could be growing.”

TMZ and several other publications confirmed Schefter's reporting, with the online entertainment magazine stating that according to its sources Jay-Z might be the group's (which also includes sports betting tech company Kambi) secret weapon:

Not only is he the most prominent public figure applying for a license, but he's the only Black applicant. While the other corporations might have Black employees or execs, they aren't the actual licensees... whereas Jay would be.

Even so the competition will be stiff for a betting license with the likes of DraftKings, BetMGM,  FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbook and WynnBET, in the mix for what will reportedly be just two licenses granted by the New York State Gaming Commission. The commission had until January 6, 2022, to select the successful bidders.

Success is never guaranteed but the dynamic duo have a winning history working together in business as well as for social causes. In addition to Jay Z's investment into Rubin's Fanatic, which helped push the company's valuation to $18 billion, they are both founding members of the Reform Alliance,  a criminal justice organization whose mission involves "fighting for the justice and dignity of people who are needlessly trapped in the criminal justice system."

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