JAY-Z has applied for a sports betting license in New York, TMZ reports. According to the outlet, the 51-year-old Brooklyn native recently submitted an application to the New York State Gaming Commission requesting approval for an online sports betting license.
Hov reportedly teamed up with Michael Rubin for the venture. As reported by REVOLT, JAY and Roc Nation recently invested in Rubin’s sports merchandise company Fanatics, which TMZ writes has now been used to form Fanatics Sportsbook. Along with Rubin, JAY also joined forces with Kambi, a company that creates online sports gaming software.
According to TMZ, the New York State Gaming Commission will approve two of the six applicants, which include companies FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook and WynnBET. JAY could have a leg up on the competition seeing as New York is his home state, but TMZ writes that the commission will have until December to make their decision.
According to the outlet, sports gambling generated roughly $1.55 billion across the country last year. Hov has dabbled in the lucrative industry in the past and previously held gaming licenses in Nevada and New Jersey, back when his 40/40 Clubs were open in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
The Fanatics Sportsbook headquarters will be operated out of New York City and JAY-Z and Rubin have reportedly begun building out the group’s staff. After a $325 million funding round held earlier this month — which also included investments from Major League Baseball, SoftBank, Silver Lake, Eldridge, TWG Sports Media & Entertainment and Insight Partners — JAY-Z’s investment in Fanatics helped raise the company’s value to $18 billion.
“We’ve realized we have this incredible opportunity… to really transition [from] a leading e-commerce company to building the leading digital sports platform,” Rubin said at the time. “That means, as a sports fan, you go to Fanatics and get any sports product that’s important to you.”
“… We’re focused on building a business,” he added. “But I think we’re well-financed and have a lot of growth capital to continue to grow.”