Billionaire rapper Jay-Z is going into gambling with his latest business venture. According to TMZ, he has applied for a New York gaming license to form Fanatics Sportsbook, which could make him a pioneer in the billion-dollar industry.
According to TMZ, he is partnering with mogul Michael Rubin, to form Fanatics Sportsbook. Also, the two have reportedly teamed with Kambi, a company that makes software used for online sports gambling.
TMZ reports that at least six groups, including BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, and WynnBET, have all applied for a gaming license in New York and the state is likely to approve at least two of the six groups.
However, Jay-Z is said to be the secret weapon to put his group over other applicants. Also, his group’s chances look bright because he is the only Black applicant. “He’s a native New Yorker, and Roc Nation is a diverse company. Jay-Z is New York,” an insider told Page Six.
According to documents reviewed by Page Six, Jay-Z will be the vice-chairman of the company and will also sit on the board of directors of the Fanatics group while ex-FanDuel CEO Matt King would serve as CEO for the Fanatics group.
Variety reports that Fanatics Sportsbook is valued at $18 billion and holds a stake in major sports leagues in the US and several apparels companies. “Much of that valuation is based on the company’s expected to move into the sports gaming world, which is where Jay comes in. Sources tell TMZ that Jay and Rubin have been teamed up with Kambi, which builds software for sports gaming operators,” Variety reports.
This is not the first time Jay-Z has invested in the gaming industry. He had previously held gaming licenses in Nevada and New Jersey connected to his popular 40/40 Clubs. Those two operations were shut down several years ago.
According to TMZ, Jay-Z and his partner have been motivated to venture into the gaming industry due to the capital in the sector. Sports gambling reportedly pulled in roughly $1.55 BILLION in the U.S. last year.
“Fanatics Sportsbook will be headquartered in NYC, and Jay’s already planning to hire a diverse staff — race and gender-wise — as he’s done with Roc Nation,” TMZ says, citing multiple sources.
Investing in gaming is among the latest businesses the rapper and business mogul has been engaged in. He recently launched his own cannabis firm, Monogram. Also, Jay-Z has a stake in the French audio tech firm Devialet. The tech firm recently launched wireless earbuds, called Gemini, to rival Apple and Samsung’s dominance in the wireless earphones market.