August 16, 2021 3 min read


Rapper Jay-Z Hopes to Get In on New York’s Sports Betting Market

Jay-Z, the rapper born as Shawn Corey Carter, could be about to make history once again. In addition to being a musician and social justice pioneer, he is also an avid sports fan. Jay-Z has been linked to a number of teams over the years and once held a partial membership stake in the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets. Soon, though, he could be involved in all sports teams across the US and the rest of the world. It has been revealed that Jay-Z’s name appears on one of the mobile sports betting license applications in New York, but there’s more to the story than that.

Jay-Z Could Own a New York Sportsbook

According to media outlet TMZ, Jay-Z’s name is on a mobile sports betting license application currently being reviewed by the New York Gaming Commission (NYGC). If approved, he would bring his new Fanatics Sportsbook venture, formed through a partnership with billionaire Michael Rubin and online gambling software developer Kambi Group, to the Empire State. Rubin is also big into sports and is the co-owner of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.

In addition to Fanatics Sportsbook’s submission, the NYGC is scrutinizing applications from all the normal heavy-hitters – FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook and WynnBET. All have already proven their capabilities and are well-suited for a license in New York. However, Jay-Z’s company has one advantage that can’t be overlooked, and which could play a role in the decision-making process. The rapper and entrepreneur, as well as founder of Roc Nation, is the only Black person whose name appears as a potential licensee, according to TMZ. Other companies have representation from the Black community and others; however, Fanatics would be the only one in New York whose license holder is a Black person. Given his status not only as a rapper, but as an overachiever and a very successful businessman, Jay-Z has the potential to turn Fanatics into an overnight success.

Online Gaming In New York Advancing Slowly

The final winners of the licenses aren’t expected to be revealed by the NYGC until perhaps December, which means there’s a lot of time for operators to prepare. Should Fanatics be chosen, Jay-Z will reportedly set up shop in New York City, where he was born. His birthday is December 4, which could make approval of his application a great birthday present.

Jay-Z is also getting a lot of support from the local community. The Nets are reportedly backing the idea of Fanatics being approved, as is Penn National Gaming. That, along with Rubin’s profile, is likely to carry a lot of weight. Rubin and Jay-Z have a long history together and are behind Reform Alliance. The organization lobbies for criminal justice reform and was founded with support from other high-profile individuals, including Robert Kraft, Meek Mill, Ciara Wu Tsai and more.


Erik brings his unique writing talents and storytelling flare to cover a wide range of gambling topics. He has written for a number of industry-related publications over the years, providing insight into the constantly evolving world of gaming. A huge sports fan, he especially enjoys football and anything related to sports gambling. Erik is particularly interested in seeing how sports gambling and online gaming are transforming the larger gaming ecosystem.

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