Analysis

Golden Nugget, Rush Street complete SPAC IPOs

Golden Nugget Online Gaming (CNOG) and Rush Street Interactive (RSI) both completed their SPAC-assisted IPOs just before the end of the year.

The GNOG deal came via the merger with the Special Purpose Acquisition Company deal with Landcadia Holdings.

It sees the online gaming arm of Golden Nugget float on Nasdaq.

The Rush Street flotation sees the company also achieve a listing via a purchase by a dMY Technology SPAC. Rush Street now trades under the RSI name on the NYSE.

Competitive space

Rush Street operates the PlaySugarHouse.com and BetRivers.com websites. It operates in six states including New Jersey, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.

It also has market access deals for three more states including New York.

Greg Carlin, CEO of RSI, said the company was well placed for a huge sports betting and online gaming boom.

“We believe there is significant growth potential for our business in both existing and new markets,” he said.

Niccolo de Masi, Chief Executive Officer of dMY Technology Group which has facilitated the RSI listing, said the company was well-placed in the “finite competitive landscape”.

“We believe RSI is ideally positioned to capitalize on the rapid growth in online casino and online sports-betting.”

Tilman J. Fertitta, the CEO and chairman of both GNOG and Landcadia, said it was good to finally get the float away. He also said he saw “tremendous opportunities” in online gaming.

Both RSI and Golden Nugget are second tier brands on the Wedge Index. In comparison with RSI, Golden Nugget is only operational in New Jersey to date.

In its third-quarter results it said it was in the process of applying for a license in Pennsylvania.

Its most recent results show it was, in the words of Fertitta, a “pandemic-proof” business. Revenue almost doubled year-on-year to $28.9m.

RSI said in the third quarter its revenue had risen by 370% to $78.2m.

Rush of new blood

The rush of SPAC IPOs among online gaming companies began late in 2019 with the deal that saw the merger of DraftKings and SBTech.

The success of DraftKings as a listed entity sparked a rush of further deals

More gaming-related SPACs are due. Genius Sports is reportedly close to floating via a deal with another dMY Technology vehicle.

Meanwhile, a couple of SPACs are believed to be looking at the gaming space for acquisitions.

They include the Tekkorp SPAC and another fronted by ex-MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren called Acies.

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Scott Longley

Scott Longley has been a journalist since the early noughties covering personal finance, sport and the gambling industry. He has worked for a number of publications including Investor's Week, Bloomberg Money, Football First, EGR and GamblingCompliance.com. He now writes for online and print titles across a wide range of sectors.

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