Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG) has struck a deal with Tioga Downs Casino Resort in New York. The partnership gives GNOG market access to operate an online casino should the state one day move to legalize such gambling.
GNOG and Tioga Downs Race Track, LLC revealed in a press release issued today that the two companies have entered into a 20-year agreement, subject to legislation, regulatory approval, and licensing.
If New York lawmakers authorize any form of online gaming or mobile sports betting, Golden Nugget will operate its interactive platform in conjunction with Tioga Downs. GNOG will share a percentage of its net gaming revenue with the racetrack casino, located along the New York-Pennsylvania border.
We are very excited to sign this long-term partnership with [Tioga Downs owner] Jeff Gural,” said Thomas Winter, president of Golden Nugget Online Gaming. “New York is key to our growth strategy, and we look forward to the state embracing online gaming.”
Winter says GNOG remains focused on securing new market accesses through partnerships with land-based casino operators. GNOG is currently operational in New Jersey and Michigan.
“GNOG is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the exponential growth of online gaming in the US,” Winter added.
Preparing for Takeoff
Golden Nugget is the second iGaming entity this week to reach an operating agreement with a New York casino. On Monday, Penn Interactive, the online subsidiary of Penn National Gaming, announced a partnership with Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady.
The Penn-Rivers arrangement is also a 20-year deal, and is subject to online gaming expansion and regulatory approvals.
New York has legal sports betting at its upstate commercial and tribal casinos. Tioga Downs has a FanDuel retail sportsbook. FanDuel is also Gural’s sportsbook operator at his Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. However, mobile wagering in New York has yet to be authorized.
State Sen. Joseph Addabbo, Jr. (D-Queens), a leading proponent of internet sports betting and gambling, is optimistic that regulated online sportsbooks will be operational in New York in time for the 2021 NFL season.
If New York authorizes online casinos and sports betting, it is expected to become the richest iGaming market in the country. Golden Nugget executives believe the New York online casino market could reach $2 billion in annual gross gaming revenue (GGR) at maturity.
New Jersey currently holds the title of top iGaming GGR earner. Internet gaming win last year totaled $970.3 million. New York’s population of approximately 19.3 million residents is more than double that of New Jersey’s.
Golden Nugget Online Gaming investors certainly haven’t been rewarded for taking early positions in billionaire Tilman Fertitta’s iGaming venture.
Shareholders in Landcadia, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), approved of the Golden Nugget merger in late December. Traded on the Nasdaq, GNOG quickly jumped to as high as $26.24.
Shares have since greatly declined, GNOG closing at $15.04 yesterday — a loss of 43 percent. On today’s New York news, however, GNOG shares are up more than two percent in afternoon trading.
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