NJ gives Golden Nugget SPAC backing

Golden Nugget Online Gaming got the go-ahead from New Jersey regulators for its deal with SPAC Landcadia Holdings to float on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

The deal to take Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG) public will forge ahead as planned after New Jersey regulators gave it the nod.

The deal will see Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) Landcadia Holdings II merge with GNOG. 

GNOG is the online gaming arm of the Golden Nugget casino in Atlantic City.

Both Landcadia and Golden Nugget are majority owned by Tilman Fertitta.

Landcadia is a blank check company of the sort that has become exceptionally popular in the US. 

Gaming has been an area of major interest for SPACs, with DraftKings having blazed a trail earlier this year. 

Rush Street Interactive is also seeking a SPAC-related float while a number of other SPACs have raised money for gaming-related acquisitions.

These include the Tekkorp SPAC being led by Matt Davey and the Accies vehicle helmed by Jim Murren, ex-CEO at MGM.

Further approvals

The deal also needs to be approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). LCA shareholders will then vote on the merger.

New Jersey’s regulators heard from Thomas Winter, president of GNOG. 

He told them the expansion of Golden Nugget’s online gaming business would not lessen its commitment to the state.

“Today that is in New Jersey and GNOG moving forward will continue doing that in New Jersey. But (we) will also expand to new jurisdictions starting with Pennsylvania and Michigan next year,” Winter said.

GNOG will allocate $80m from the float in order to fund its expansion plans in targeted states. 

Golden Nugget is a market leader in online gaming in New Jersey. Any moves into further states will add to their own Wedge Index tallies.

Coining it

According to figures released by GNOG in the year-to-date it has generated revenues of over $263m. 

This comes via its own-brand casino as well as from skin partners Betfair, PlaySugarHouse and BetAmerica.

Between them all four brands achieved a market share of online casino in October that was just over 30%.

Winter also indicated the company has recently upgraded its sportsbook product.

Attempting to allay fears about GNOG turning attention away from the Atlantic City property, Winter noted that online gaming benefits land-based gaming interests under the same brand. 

He also suggested online could help bridge the generational divide. He pointed out the average age of a land-based gambler in Atlantic City is 57. For online that number is 42. 

Winter noted also said that 5-6% percent of online players will convert to land-based casinos.


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