Hip-hop icon Jay-Z is reportedly forming online betting service Fanatics Sportsbook with partner Michael Rubin.
Billionaire rapper Jay-Z is making an exciting new business move.
The hip-hop icon is partnering with Michael Rubin to form Fanatics Sportsbook, an online betting service, according to TMZ. The two have reportedly partnered with a tech company named Kambi that makes software used for online sports gambling.
Rubin and Jay-Z are already partners in REFORM Alliance, with rapper Meek Mill, Robert Kraft, the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots; businesswoman Clara Wu Tsai, philanthropist and investor Robert F. Smith, well-known for his gift of erasing student loan debt for hundreds of Morehouse College students; financier Michael Novogratz and Laura Arnold of Arnold Ventures.
Rap star and mogul Jay-Z (C) is shown in June following Game One of the Eastern Conference second round series between the Brooklyn Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks at Barclays Center. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Jay-Z née Shawn Carter has applied to the New York Gaming Commission, requesting approval for an online sports betting license.
FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, WynnBET and Fanatics Sportsbook have all applied for licensing in the Empire State. Only two licenses are expected to be approved.
TMZ posits that Carter’s application may be given preference due to his public stature and the fact that he is the only Black applicant.
The decision is expected by December 2021.
Online sports betting exploded in popularity in the last year and a half during the coronavirus pandemic, pulling in roughly $1.55 billion nationally.
This photo from 2020 Roc Nation THE BRUNCH in Los Angeles shows (from left) Jay-Z, Michael Rubin and Robert Kraft in conversation. (Photo by Erik Voake/Getty Images for Roc Nation)
According to Casino.org, more than 80% of legal sports betting in the U.S. is done online; however, it is regulated by states. Currently, online gaming is legal in 14 states and the District of Columbia. The tax revenue payoff for states is not incredibly high.
“States looking to close budget gaps with sports betting revenue may be disappointed,” the report notes, “especially as more and more states legalize and take their slice of the market.”
Fanatics Sportsbook is expected to be based in New York City with a diverse staff, similar to Roc Nation.
It’s been a big year for Jay-Z. He and wife Beyoncé Knowles-Carter have been named brand ambassadors and the new faces of Tiffany & Co. The superstar couple will appear in the next ad campaign for the company.
Additionally, the rap mogul will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of the 2021 class. The ceremony will be held on Saturday, Oct. 30, in Cleveland at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.
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