Golden Nugget to Join Illinois Sports Betting, iGaming Markets

Golden Nugget to Join Illinois Sports Betting, iGaming Markets
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Golden Nugget Online Gaming has 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 Casino and Wilmot Gaming Illinois LLC to build a new casino in Danville, pending obtaining all regulatory approvals, according to a news release Thursday.

Danville is 138 miles south of Chicago, about a 2½-hour drive.

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"Wilmot is pleased to deliver Golden Nugget and GNOG to the City of Danville and is excited to partner with Tilman J. Fertitta,” James A. Wilmot, vice president of Wilmot Gaming, said in the news release. “The Golden Nugget is a nationally recognized brand and strengthens the submission, provides additional opportunities and upgrades the overall project."

There are five Golden Nugget casinos in the U.S.: two in Nevada, one in Atlantic City, one in Biloxi, Mississippi, and one in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Golden Nugget Casino

When opened, the casino will be branded Golden Nugget and feature a Landry's restaurant steakhouse, the release said. Danville Development is a joint venture between Wilmot and GN Danville, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Golden Nugget.

GNOG holds the exclusive right to offer online sports wagering and, if permitted by law in the future, online casino gambling, the release said. In addition, GNOG has committed to provide a mezzanine loan in the amount of $30 million to Danville Development for the development and construction of the casino.

GNOG's market access agreement is for a term of 20 years and requires GNOG to pay Danville Development a percentage of its online net gaming revenue, subject to minimum royalty payments over the term.

“This is Golden Nugget's first joint venture on a casino project, and we are honored to be the one selected amongst numerous bidders for this opportunity by the Wilmot family after a highly competitive process,” Fertitta said in the release. “Having the ability to grow the Golden Nugget brand's online casino in Illinois in both the online and land-based markets is an exciting opportunity.”

Fertitta, owner of the NBA’s Houston Rockets and Golden Nugget Hotel and Casinos. is a billionaire who built his Texas restaurant business — Landry’s — into Fertitta Entertainment, Inc.

More on Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget Online Gaming announced in June it was going public after it was acquired by Fertitta and Landcadia Holdings II in a SPAC deal. Landcadia II rebranded to Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Inc., and will change its Nasdaq trading symbol to GNOG. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

Golden Nugget has become a big name in the U.S. online gaming market. It’s an iGaming leader in New Jersey and 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 other slot machine games to mobile and online devices in the U.S.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced this week that casinos and video gaming operations will close beginning Friday as the state deals with record numbers of coronavirus cases. He recently extended remote registration for a sports betting market that reached $305 million in September handle.