Online sports betting was made legal in New York this past April, and Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter has decided to get a slice of the action with a bid for a license in the Empire State. According to paperwork made available by the New York State Gaming Association, Jay-Z and regular business partner Michael Rubin are coming together to form a Fanatics Betting & Gaming body; however, the duo is one of six competitors for a license. Rubin recently became CEO of the greater Fanatics organization, and Jay-Z comes on board Fanatics Betting & Gaming’s board of directors as its vice-chairman.
“Fanatics Sportsbook will use one of the largest sports fan databases in North America and proven sports betting platform and player account management technology to operate sports wagering in New York,” the company wrote in its application. The documents also say that Jay-Z and Roc Nation’s brand presence will “help attract new customers, engage existing sports bettors and expand the overall footprint of the Fanatics sportsbook.” It is worth noting Jay-Z is the only African-American investor currently on any application for a license in New York State.
Fanatics has also teamed up Kambi, a Swedish software company that specializes in sports betting technology. “We realized that we have this incredible opportunity … to really go from being a leading eCommerce company to building the leading digital sports platform,” Rubin told CNBC of the recent transition from Fanatics. “It means that as a sports fan, you go to Fanatics and get any digital sports product that is important to you. ”
Kambi is expanding its footprint in North America and is also included in the bid with another consortium as well. The list of six applicants for NYS sports betting licenses, per journalist/analyst Ryan Butler, is as follows:
- Kambi with Fanatics Sportsbook and Penn National/Barstool
- FanDuel with Bally Bet, BetMGM, and DraftKings
- FOX Bet
- Kambi with Caesars, Resorts World, PointsBet, BetRivers and WynnBet
Winning bids are expected to be announced on December 6, and each successful applicant will be mandated to provide at least four sportsbooks in New York State.