In a landmark move for the online casino industry, Landcadia Holdings II, Inc. announced plans this week to take Golden Nugget Online Gaming public.
Golden Nugget Online Gaming owner Tilman Fertitta and Landcadia II, a special purpose acquisition company backed by Fertitta Entertainment, Inc. and Jefferies Financial Group Inc., announced the plans earlier this week in a press release. The company is valued at $745 million.
The move will make Golden Nugget Online Gaming the second publicly traded online casino company in the United States. DraftKings became the first with its IPO in April 2020. Fertitta will stay on as chairman and CEO while Thomas Winter will remain as Golden Nugget Online Gaming’s president.
Following the acquisition and public offering, Golden Nugget Online Gaming will appear on the Nasdaq using the ticker “GNOG.”
Rich Handler, Co-Chairman of Lancadia II and Chief Executive Officer of Jefferies, explains that now is an excellent time for Golden Nugget Online Gaming to go public: “GNOG is one of the best-positioned companies to capitalize on this massive online gaming opportunity in the US,” he says. “We at Jefferies couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Tilman and bring this great opportunity to the public markets.”
GNOG And US Online Casino Outlook
This announcement comes when online casino gaming has proven to be a more crucial space than ever. Amid Covid-19 related casino closures, operators look to the online space to make up for lost revenue. States without online gaming may look to legislate following 2020’s blow to the land-based industry.
Golden Nugget Online Gaming has already proven successful in some markets, and it’s poised to do the same in emerging jurisdictions. The company started online operations in New Jersey in 2013, where it has since achieved a number of milestones and accolades. Golden Nugget Online Gaming was the first online casino to launch live dealer games in the US.
According to Fertitta, Golden Nugget’s success will be amplified by going public: “Thomas [Winter] and his team have done a remarkable job, are the best in the industry, and with this transaction, will have access to growth capital to allow for the rapid expansion of the business.”
Following A Familiar Path
GNOG’s path to the Nasdaq is similar to the route DraftKings (Nasdaq: DKNG) took in April 2020. DraftKings eschewed a formal IPO, instead opting for a reverse merger with Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp.
The method brought DraftKings to the Nasdaq quicker than a traditional IPO, and the route saw early success once the company was listed.
Golden Nugget has approached its move to the public market in a similar fashion, making it a stock to watch once the reverse acquisition closes and the company is live on the Nasdaq.