Jay-Z Positioned as Fanatics Vice Chairman in New York Sports Betting Application

Jay-Z Positioned as Fanatics Vice Chairman in New York Sports Betting Application article feature image

Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Fanatics. Pictured: Michael Rubin, Jay-Z, Robert Kraft

Jay-Z is not only an investor of Fanatics, he is also being positioned as the vice chairman of the sports company’s new entry into betting. 

That’s according to documents from last week’s applications to the New York State Gaming Commission. The Jay-Z section was not redacted and was first reported by TMZ on Monday morning. 

The documents, which were obtained by The Action Network, says Jay-Z will serve to guide the “strategic and creative direction for the expansion and growth of the Fanatics sports betting brand in New York and across the country.” 

Jay-Z and his Roc Nation, which represents the likes of Kevin Durant and Robinson Cano, were called out as investors last week as Fanatics announced a $325-million financing round that valued the company at $18 billion.

But many wondered how Fanatics, the sports licensing and memorabilia giant which is branding out to the betting and media business, would win one of the two bids for New York’s online gaming licenses. 

First, it’s not clear what how far along Fanatics is in having a product, other than signing a tech deal with Kambi and bringing in sports betting executives like FanDuel CEO Matt King. Secondly, the competition is stiff. 

The front runners to get the bids are a FanDuel, DraftKings, Bally’s and BetMGM combination bid and a Caesars, Resorts World, PointsBet, BetRivers and WynnBet application. Fanatics has partnered with Penn National and it’s Barstool Sportsbook on its bid.

The timeline for announcing the winning bids is unclear and that timeline might have gotten more convoluted due to Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigning last week.

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