Jay-Z Goes All-In With Online Gambling License

Written by: Webster Lupton, Casino, Gambling, and Sports Journalist
3 minute read
Jay Z Applies for Online Gambling License

Rap star Jay-Z has requested an online gambling license from the state of New York, joining the growing number of big names to enter the gambling market. The state made online gambling legal in April. Jay-Z told TMZ in mid-August that he and friend Michael Rubin plan to create Fanatics Sportsbook with a flagship location in New York City.

News Highlights

  • Jay-Z seeks a New York gambling license.
  • The rap star and Michael Rubin plan to launch a sportsbook.
  • Broad venture puts Jay-Z on Fanatics, Inc. board.

Jay-Z Applies For Sports Betting License

Jay Z and Michael Rubin
Jay Z & Michael Rubin

Jay-Z and his partners are one of six interested parties seeking a license from New York, which can award only two this year, according to TMZ. The rap star competes with more renowned gambling companies such as BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, and WynnBET. The New York Gambling Commission will announce the winners of applications by the end of the year. 

The application is part of an overall plan that indicates Jay-Z’s intent to be part of the gaming industry. Michael Rubin and Jay-Z have partnered with software company Kambi, which specializes in sports gambling.

Fanatics Betting & Gaming

Jay-Z’s Roc Nation has joined several organizations, including Major League Baseball, in a $325 million investment round for Fanatics Inc., which is mainly known as a sports apparel retailer. According to documents reviewed by news outlet Page Six, he will be the new vice-chairman of the Fanatics Betting & Gaming’s board of directors.

Online Sports Betting Keeps Scoring

Jay-Z is the latest in a parade of big names that have recently involved themselves with the betting industry. The following celebrities and major companies have announced ventures associated with gambling this year.

  • Kevin Garnett (NBA Star)
  • Sports Illustrated
  • Atari Games
  • Alexis Ohanian (Reddit Co-Founder)
  • Maxim Magazine
  • Sony Entertainment

The reason for the interest is an expanding US wagering market that has opened up since the Supreme Court ruled online gambling legal in 2018. The number of states that have legalized online gambling has grown to 14, with other states seeking legislation to legalize. Yahoo News notes that online sports betting alone took in about $1.5 billion last year during the pandemic months.

The Jay-Z Empire

Jay Z and Beyonce
Jay Z and Beyonce

Jay-Z, a co-founder of Roc Nation, has gained fame as one of the most influential hip-hop artists in history. As CEO of Def Jam Records, he cultivated recording artists such as Kanye West, Rihanna, Rick Ross, and J. Cole.

Outside of music, Jay-Z has become known as an entrepreneur, founding clothing retailer Rocawear and acquiring tech company Aspira, among other ventures. He has previously been part of the gaming industry as operator of the luxury sports bar 40/40 Clubs, which had land-based gambling licenses in New Jersey and Nevada. 

According to The Richest website, he and his superstar wife, Beyonce, have a net worth of $1.3 billion.

All In On Online Gambling

Jay-Z’s move to open a new sportsbook is part of a free-market scramble for interests in US online gambling. As more states get on board with gambling, the push for market share should continue from all areas of the world of finance.

Webster Lupton

Webster Lupton Casino, Gambling, and Sports Journalist

Webster Lupton is a journalist and expert sports and casino writer with over 30 years of experience. Webster is a seasoned researcher and a published author. He also enjoys the outdoors and birdwatching.

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