Jay-Z to Host Exclusive Blackjack Fundraiser for Reform Alliance at Ocean Casino in Atlantic City

Hip-hop legend Jay-Z will host an exclusive Casino Royale-themed charity blackjack event at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City on Sept. 30 to support Reform Alliance.

Tickets are $50,000 plus an additional $50,000 entry fee for those participating in the tournament and vying for a portion of its million-dollar prize pool. Attendance is limited to 300, and the steep price tag guarantees it will be a star-studded affair. Guests reported to be attending Reform’s Casino Night and Gala Event include:

  • Beyonce
  • Kim Kardashian
  • Travis Scott
  • Megan Thee Stallion

There are rumors that Tom Brady, Emily Ratajkowski, DJ Khaled, and a lineup of NBA stars will also be among those in attendance. Rounding out the participants will be an assortment of well-heeled individuals from the business sector, like fund managers, private equity investors, and CEOs.

Comedian Kevin Hart is tapped to emcee the evening’s festivities, according to Page Six, which broke the story. Hart has a long history of lending his brand to gambling products and events, starting with a partnership with PokerStars in 2017. Currently, he’s an ambassador for DraftKingsJay-Z is also no stranger to the gambling industry due to his involvement with Caesars’ bid for a casino in Times Square.

Reportedly, the fundraising goal for the event is $20 million.

Another gala earlier this year hit that $20 million target. It raised money for Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Foundation, which is “committed to bridging the opportunity gap that exists across the education system.”

Reform Seeks to Transform Probation and Parole

Reform Alliance, for its part, aims to” transform probation and parole by changing laws, systems, and culture to create real pathways to work and wellbeing.”

Jay-Z is a founding partner of Reform alongside Clara Wu Tsai, Robert Smith, Robert Kraft, Laura Arnold, and Michael Novogratz. All sit on the Reform board.

Fanatics’ CEO Michael Rubin and recording artist Meek Mill (also founding members) co-chair the board. Dr. Priscilla Chan and CEO Robert Rooks round out the membership.

Since Reform came together in 2019, the organization has participated in grassroots efforts to transform parole and probation laws across the US.

From a recent press release:

Reform has already secured the passage of 17 bipartisan bills in 11 states to create a pathway for nearly 700,000 people to move from the system of mass incarceration and mass supervision into work, wellbeing, and stability.

Reform’s board has already committed more than $100 million to its cause. This event marks the first time asking those outside the board to contribute.

The funds raised at the star-studded event will support Reform’s transformative work.

Jay-Z Opts for Exclusive Party Over Traditional Gala

Sources told Page Six Jay-Z wanted to host an exclusive party for Reform’s first big event rather than hold a traditional fundraising gala.

Others liked the idea and got on board, including Ocean Casino Resort. In addition to providing the venue, the resort is donating the million-dollar prize pool for the tournament.

While Kevin Hart is donating his emcee skills, it appears separate from his work with DraftKings, which does not seem to be involved with the event.

Hart has appeared in multiple advertisements for the brand. And earlier this year, DraftKings released an original title, Hart-Race Hold ’em. The game pits players against an animated Kevin Hart in head-to-head poker.

Despite that relationship, a DraftKings representative wasn’t aware of the company’s involvement in the fundraising event.

Bonus also contacted HartBeat, Hart’s entertainment brand, to ask about Hart’s role but received no response.

However, if DraftKings were involved, its local partner, Resorts Casino Hotel, would likely be too.

Ocean Casino’s online partners are Parx, Tipico, and PlayStar.

About the Author

Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil (she/they) is a Nova Scotia-based writer and editor, and a lead writer at Bonus. Here she focuses on news relevant to online casinos, while specializing in responsible gambling coverage, legislative developments, gambling regulations, and industry-related legal fights.
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