Landcadia and Golden Nugget Online Gaming Merger is Official

It’s official! Landcadia Holdings II Inc. (Nasdaq: LCA), which is a well-known special purpose acquisition business, will now acquire Golden Nugget Online Gaming Inc. This merger officially makes Landcadia Holdings the only 2nd pure publicly traded online casino company in the country. This merger is expected to close in the 3rd quarter of 2020.

When it does, Landcadia Holdings will change its name to Golden Nugget Online Gaming Inc. with a new Nasad trading symbol (“GNOG”) to match. The current chairman of Landcadia Holdings, local billionaire Tilman Fertitta, will remain at the helm and will hold a controlling economic as well as controlling voting interest in this newly formed organization. The president will be Thomas Winter.

GNOG is looking to capitalize on the burgeoning online gaming market that’s thriving in the country. Golden Nugget is easily one of the best-reviewed brands in the online gaming market as discussed here and this merger is slated to help the company’s continued growth.

This deal is not only imperative for Golden Nugget as a brand, but it will also help LCA in major ways. For instance, once the deal has been finalized, LCA’s stock will likely join the leagues of the few publicly traded online casino companies that exist.

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What does this mean for the Golden Nugget?

The Golden Nugget has a stellar reputation in the country and its igaming business already enjoys a top position in New Jersey, which has monopolized the online gaming market in the country. The brand already enjoys market access and subject to regulatory authorization, it should be able to penetrate new markets such as Pennsylvania and Michigan with ease.

Online gaming continues to gain traction

The growth of the internet led to the creation of many new businesses, one of the top ones being online gambling. Although the industry experienced a slow start, it has since grown by leaps and bounds to become one of the most profitable sectors in the world. Over the years, several gambling trends have led to the success of online gambling.

The increased number of brick and mortar casinos, as well as the consolidation of the industry, has fostered continued growth in the sector. Add to the mix mobile gambling and the industry is expected to keep growing in the coming years.

The recent legalization of legal sports betting has also helped online gambling to continue its upward trajectory. In May 2018, the Supreme Court struck down the Professional Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the law that limited sports betting to only a few states such as Oregon, Montana, Nevada, and Delaware.

PAPSA had been in effect for 25 years before it was struck down. But with the Supreme Court’s decision, every state now enjoys the freedom to establish regulated sports betting. As a result of the newly legalized sports betting market, the online gambling revenue continues to climb, even as physical casinos attempt to stay afloat amid a pandemic.

Case in point, New Jersey which is by far the biggest online betting market, recorded an astounding $87.8 million from various NJ gambling sites during August. Sportsbooks, on the other hand, brought in an additional $39.5 million, most of which was acquired from online sportsbooks. The state’s combined gaming revenue totaled $326 million, bringing the final tally so far to more than $1.6 billion.

In particular, the Golden Nugget has been dominating the competition when it comes to online casino revenue, setting record after record ever since its launch. In October 2019, Golden Nugget lead the pack by shattering its previous monthly revenue for the 4th time in a row as discussed here. During this time last October (2019), the Golden Nugget’s total gaming revenue exceeded $16 million as covered here.

This year, this number is expected to go even higher. The Nugget’s flagship website continues to set the tone and standard for others in the industry. Today, it stands as New Jersey’s largest brand offering more than 700 casino games that consist of 634 slots. It was also the first operator to install Live Dealer games.

Today, Golden Nugget customers enjoy online and mobile sportsbooks which allow punters that want to wager on both casino games, as well as sports to do so with ease. Punters can move from the online casino to the mobile app with ease and some even utilize the same accounts for both, which boost convenience.

What should you know about Tilman Fertitta?

Billionaire Tilman Fertitta also owns the Houston Rockets, as well as Landry’s, which is one of the most well-known restaurants and entertainment companies in Texas. Not many people successfully build a billion-dollar ($5 billion to be exact) gaming and hospitality empire but Fertitta has managed to do the seemingly impossible.

Over the years, he’s built himself an entertainment empire, Fertitta Entertainment that specializes in all sorts of things including hospitality, restaurants, gaming, amusement, and of course, sports. He is also quite the celebrity thanks to his Billion Dollar Buyer TV show. Fertitta started his entrepreneurship journey at a young age.

His start in the gaming and gambling sector came in 2005 when he spent approximately $320 million to purchase the Golden Nugget casinos on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas, as well as in Laughlin, Nevada. At the time of purchase, he was still serving his role as CEO of Landry’s Restaurants Corp. but he went ahead to join the casino business with no experience whatsoever.

After this purchase, he would go on add 3 more casino properties to his portfolio, including the bust Trump Marina Hotel, as well as Casino in Atlantic City, all of which were consequently rebranded as Golden Nuggets.

Final Thoughts

The online gambling industry has been on the up and up in the last couple of years and it has grown to become one of the most vibrant industries on the planet. The only form of online gambling that has suffered a disappointing blow over the years is poker.

But whether or not you include poker in the final count, the phenomenal popularity of online casino and sports betting is what pushes investors such as Landcadia to keep making worthy investments that will help the industry to keep growing. The industry’s future is bright so punters have a lot to be grateful for.

 

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