- Joined ESPN in 2014
- Journalist covering gambling industry since 2008
Licenses to offer online sports betting in New York are attracting big names and creating partnerships between the largest bookmakers in the U.S.
Sean “Jay-Z” Carter and Philadelphia 76ers owner Michael Rubin are a part of group applying for an online sports betting license in New York and plan to form Fanatics Sportsbook, according to documents released by the New York State Gaming Association.
The Fanatics application is one of six being reviewed by the NYSGA, which is aiming to announce a minimum of two winning bids by Dec. 6. Each winning bid will be required to offer a minimum of four sportsbook platforms in New York. New York regulators hope to launch the online betting market ahead of Super Bowl LVI in 2022.
Jay-Z and Rubin are part of consortium led by Kambi, a sports betting technology provider headquartered in Sweden that has grown its footprint in North America. Gaming company Penn National, which owns Barstool Sportsbook, also is a part of the group.
In its application, Fanatics, a leading sports apparel retailer, cited a strategic partnership with Roc Nation, the global entertainment organization founded by Jay-Z, as a market advantage in addition to its established data base of fans.
“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,” the company wrote in its application.
Sportsbook companies FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM and Bally’s are part of a competing bid that, according to The Athletic, includes the New York Yankees, Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, New York City FC and the YES Network. A group that includes gaming operators Caesars, Wynn and Rush Street and PointsBet also have submitted a bid.
Since a 2018 ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court, regulated sports betting has spread round the nation. Thirty states and the District of Columbia have approved sports betting markets. New York is expected to be the largest so far.
FanDuel cited an analysis by Frontier Economics in its application that estimated annual sports betting revenue in New York would be $585 million the first year and grow to $1.8 billion in five years.
There is a $25 million fee for a New York sports betting license, and the state will tax sports betting revenue at a 50% rate.
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