Music superstar Jay Z and Philadelphia 76ers owner Michael Rubin are members of a group that is applying for a sports betting license in New York under a to-be-former sportsbook called Fanatics Sportsbook.
According to the New York State Gaming Commission, the Fanatics Sportsbook is one of six applications received by the NYGC. The Commission is eyeing to announce the winning bids by December 6th with the intention of launching the New York sports betting market before Super Bowl LVI in 2022.
In its application, Fanatics Sportsbook wrote:
“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.”
Jay-Z and Rubin are part of a consortium that is being led by Kambi, a spots betting provider based in Sweden but who already has footprints in North America. Also part of the group is Penn National Gaming, which owns Barstool Sports.
In its application to the NYGC, Fanatics- a leading retailer of sports apparel, said that it has formed a strategic partnership with Roc Nation, a global international entertainment organization founded by Jay-Z to gain market advantage in addition to its establish fan database.
Jay-Z was among a group of investors that took part in a $325M investment in Fanatics last week. Owned by Rubin, Fanatics is now valued at $18B.
Other Competing Bids
Aside from Jay-Z’s group, top online sportsbooks FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and Bally’s are part of a competing bid that includes the New York Yankees, Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, New York City FC, and the YES Network. Another group led by Caesars Entertainment, Wynn Resorts, Rush Street, and PointsBet have also submitted their own bid.
New York is expected to be one of the largest sports betting market in the United States when full operational. An analysis by Frontier Economics revealed that the industry could be worth $585 million of sports betting revenue during the first year and $5 billion in five years.
Approved sports betting operators will pay a $25M licensing fee and will be taxed at 50% of their sports betting revenue.