NJ Casino Board to Review Golden Nugget Online License Request

NJ Casino Board to Review Golden Nugget Online License Request
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Golden Nugget Atlantic City has asked the New Jersey Casino Control Commission to consider its request to sever its Internet gaming operations from its brick-and-mortar casino and take the new company public.

The NJCCC is holding a special meeting Wednesday to review Golden Nugget’s request.

Once approved by New Jersey and federal regulators, and the deal is finalized, its shares would be sold on Nasdaq. Essentially, Wednesday’s hearing is an issuance request for a new casino license to Golden Nugget Online Gaming LLC (GNOC) as an internet gaming affiliate of Golden Nugget Atlantic City.

Also listed on the petition is Landcadia Holdings II, Inc., which announced in late June that it was acquiring GNOG if approved. Landcadia II is a blank-check company or special acquisition company (SPAC) launched by billionaire Tilman Fertitta. It is currently traded under the symbol “LCA,” but will change its name to Golden Nugget Online Gaming Inc. and its Nasdaq trading symbol to “GNOG.”

Fertitta owns five Golden Nugget casinos — two in Nevada, one in Atlantic City, one in Biloxi, Mississippi, and one in Lake Charles, Louisiana — the NBA’s Houston Rockets; Landry’s Inc.; and several restaurant chains including Morton’s The Steakhouse.

Late last week, GNOG entered into an agreement with Danville Development LLC for market access to Illinois for online sports wagering and iGaming, when it is legalized. There is also a joint venture between Golden Nugget and Wilmot Gaming Illinois LLC to build a new casino in Danville, pending regulatory approvals.

GNOG would become the second pure publicly traded online casino company in the nation, according to a June news release announcing the merger between Golden Nugget and Lancadia II.

Fertitta will remain chairman and CEO of the new company, while Thomas Winter, who has led Golden Nugget’s online gaming operations since its debut in the Garden State in 2013, will be president of GNOG.

Golden Nugget Strong in New Jersey

In October, the Golden Nugget had online gaming revenue of just over $28 million, easily the leader in New Jersey. For the first 10 months of 2020, the Golden Nugget has revenue of $263 million from online gaming, according to the state’s monthly revenue report.

Online casino gambling is legal in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia, while online poker is legal in those states plus Nevada. Michigan has legalized online casinos and it hoping to launch the market later this year or early next year.

GNOG will enter Pennsylvania and Michigan pending state approval, with plans to launch its online casino brand in those states in early 2021. The Golden Nugget brand is known for online live casino games innovation, having brought Live Dealer, Live Casino Floor gambling and additional slot machine games to mobile and online devices in the U.S.

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