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Jay-Z and 76ers’ owner Michael Rubin apply to create ‘Fanatics Sportsbook’

Jan 22, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Recording artist Jay-Z (left) in attendance as the Pittsburgh Panthers host the Duke Blue Devils at the Petersen Events Center. Duke won 79-64. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Rapper Jay-Z has started another venture in the world of sports. This time, with 76ers and Fanatics owner Michael Rubin. The two have come together to apply and create ‘Fanatics Sportsbook’ in New York.

“Jay-Z and 76ersí owner Michael Rubin are applying for a gaming license to form Fanatics Sportsbook, in what would be the newest and latest sportsbook in New York, per source. The process is expected to take a few months, but a big business could be growing.”

Adam Schefter

This is just the latest in what has been a busy few years for one of the most iconic rappers of all time. This year, he has sold a majority stake in music streaming service TIDAL to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for $302 million. He then sold 50% of his Champagne brand Armand de Brignac, better known as Ace of Spades, to MoŽt Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE(LVMH) for a reported $630 million. He also has had several sports-related ventures as well. Notably, Jay-Z and his company Roc Nation partnering with the NFL in August 2019.

Michael Rubin is the founder of GSI Commerce, also known as eBay. He started the company in 1995 and has seen it grow into a global juggernaut valuing at approximately $2.4 billion. In 2011, Rubin acquired a minority stake in the Philadelphia 76ers. He then bought out Fanatics in 2012 and currently owns nearly half of the company.

Last week, Roc Nation also invested in Fanatics, making this partnership a lot more understandable. This investment by Roc Nation pushed Fanatics’ valuation to over $18 billion. Both men have made many smart business decisions over time, resulting in both being billionaires. ‘Fanatics Sportsbook’ is just the next experiment for both men in a growing market. From 2020-2024, sports betting is projected to make a $134.06 Billion Growth.

Though these two seem like a great match on paper, they have stiff competition. According to TMZ, New York State will only approve two to six groups. With companies like FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, and WynnBET all being in the mix, it’ll be interesting to see whether or not ‘Fanatics Sportsbook’ gets approved. New York will make their selections later this year.

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