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Report: Jay-Z, 76ers’ Michael Rubin Apply for License to Create 'Fanatics Sportsbook'

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVAugust 16, 2021

James Devaney/Getty Images

Jay-Z is reportedly set to become the latest celebrity to invest in the sports gambling field.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the rapper-entrepreneur and Philadelphia 76ers partner Michael Rubin applied for a gaming license in New York to form Fanatics Sportsbook. Rubin owns the online sports retailer Fanatics, which boasts partnerships with nearly every major sports league in the United States and several apparel companies.

Documents previously released by the state of New York show Fanatics filed in a joint effort with Penn National Gaming.

Fanatics received a $325 million investment last week that put the company's value at $18 billion. Much of the optimism is focused on the company's planned expansion, particularly in the sports gaming world.

Online gambling has become one of the fastest-rising industries in the country since a 2018 Supreme Court decision ruled that states besides Nevada can offer sports gambling. Before that ruling, overseas sportsbooks held the lion's share of the sports gambling industry, and Las Vegas was the hub of the United States.

Jay-Z's involvement will only serve as a massive boost for Fanatics as it attempts to expand its brand. The rapper carries significant international cache, and it's possible doing some Jay-Z-themed promotions will get his fans to switch over from their typical book to Fanatics.

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