Sixers Minority Owner Michael Rubin Selling Team Stake To Expand Fanatics Into Sports Betting

Written By Corey Sharp on June 22, 2022 - Last Updated on August 8, 2022
Michael Rubin Selling Sixers Shares for Fanatics Sportsbook Future

Michael Rubin won’t be courtside at Sixers games as frequently as he has been over the years.

The minority owner of the Sixers and Fanatics CEO is selling his stake of the team.

Rubin, who’s been part of Sixers ownership since 2011, is looking to expand Fanatics into other ventures that will conflict with his ownership.

Rubin owns 10% of the team that’s valued at approximately $300 million.

Future plans for Rubin and Fanatics

Rubin is selling his stake because Fanatics is entering the trading cards and collectibles industry and the sports betting scene. Fanatics is worth $27 billion.

In a statement Rubin released on his social media platforms, he said:

“As our Fanatics business has grown, so too have the obstacles I have to navigate to ensure our new businesses don’t conflict with my responsibilities as part-owner of the Sixers.

“With the launch of our trading cards and collectibles business earlier this year — which will have individual contracts with thousands of athletes globally — and a soon-to-launch sports betting operation, these new businesses will directly conflict with the ownership rules of sports leagues.”

Last August, Rubin and Jay-Z teamed up to apply for a gaming license in New York to form Fanatics Sportsbook, but the duo’s bid was not selected.

In an interview with Fox Sports’ Yaron Weitzman, Rubin envisions a “super sports app” for Fanatics where fans can buy apparel, place bets, buy physical and digital collectibles and buy tickets.

Fanatics’ sports betting status in Pennsylvania

Rubin and Fanatics have already got the ball rolling with launching sports betting in Pennsylvania.

They applied for iGaming and sports betting licenses to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as FGB Enterprises back in April. The status is still pending, where it will likely remain for a while.

Fanatics also filed to trademark BetFanatics, which will be their brand for mobile iGaming, sports betting and fantasy sports applications.

Fanatics will have stiff competition to face should their licenses get approved. Pennsylvania is already home to 14 online sportsbooks.

FanDuel is comfortably the top sports betting app in Pennsylvania with at least 35% of the handle market share over the last five months.

How Rubin can still help the Sixers

Though Rubin said his primary focus will be on Fanatics going forward, he said he will still help the Sixers out as much as he possibly can.

Weitzman quoted a high-ranking executive who’s worked with several NBA teams. He said Rubin still has pull with the Sixers and the league itself.

“He’s the biggest player in our business,” the executive said. “Nobody has the relationships that he does. Nobody can connect with people on both the ownership side and player side like him. And in a player-run league like the NBA, I really do think he can be a competitive advantage.”

Rubin does not have to deal with the constraints of the collective bargaining agreement and anti-tampering laws.

Also announced on Wednesday, Rubin along with Joel Embiid, James Harden and many more notables, participated in a $35M Series A investment round for a new online lottery ticket app called Jackpot. New York and New Jersey are among the states the platform is looking to launch in this year.

Image via Shutterstock.

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Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp is the Lead Writer at PlayPennsylvania bringing you comprehensive coverage of sports betting and gambling in Pennsylvania. Corey is a 4-for-4 Philly sports fan and previously worked as a writer and editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia.

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