Golden Nugget Online Casino is offering slots and table games in Pennsylvania. An official with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) told Bonus on Aug. 10 that the online casino site was cleared to launch. On Aug. 21, Golden Nugget’s owner, DraftKings, issued a press release about the debut.
PGCB Communications Director Douglas Harbach told Bonus on Aug. 10:
Golden Nugget has successfully completed its two-day test and has been given this afternoon the go-ahead to launch full-time.
However, on Aug. 10, Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG) had just completed what’s known as the “soft launch” period in which the online casino tests its app. Bonus couldn’t yet play any of the 526 games visible on the site on Aug. 10, because account authentication didn’t have a working document “upload center.”
Bonus successfully uploaded the requested document on Aug. 11. However, from then until today, GNOG said it still couldn’t identify Heather Fletcher from Bonus, who has been a Philadelphia resident since 2008.
Meanwhile, there wasn’t much chatter about the app on Twitter, except regarding problems:
@GNOnlineCasino guys you really need someone monitoring your emails I’ve been waiting like 8 hours
— Muzz (@Mussallem) August 19, 2023
Part of the reason for that may be that there hasn’t been much publicity about this launch.
As of this afternoon, seven hours after the launch announcement, Golden Nugget Online Casino’s Twitter bio only listed the site as live in Michigan, New Jersey, and West Virginia.
However, DraftKings Co-founder Matt Kalish did tweet at noon:
GOLDEN NUG – Live in PA!
Lots of great work went into the launch & certification of Golden Nugget Online Casino in PA.
We look forward to serving the Commonwealth & hope that the whole @draftkings family in PA checks it out!
Meanwhile, Golden Nugget is the most recent online casino to launch.
Also, GNOG will be the second online casino to operate there without a land-based partner. On July 26, the PGCB unanimously approved Golden Nugget’s qualified gaming entity (QGE) license. Only Bally Casino holds the same type of license.
Plus, the long-anticipated Bet365 Casino debut hasn’t happened yet. Back in January, Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) announced its subsidiary, Presque Isle Downs and Casino, partnered with the online gambling operator to grant it market access for online casino and sports betting.
How GNOG Fits in Pennsylvania’s Legal Online Casinos
The commonwealth has one of the country’s oldest full-service online gambling marketplaces, going live in 2019. That year, Pennsylvania allowed online casino, poker, and sports betting to launch. The state only lacks esports betting, which state Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Philadelphia, is trying to add via HB733.
Since then, Pennsylvania’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) has continued to increase, surpassing the 10-year-old New Jersey iGaming marketplace.
So now, GNOG is joining the top revenue-producing online casino state. In June 2023, the PGCB reported online casino gambling GGR was $164.3 million. Michigan saw $151 million, and the Garden State rounded out the Big Three online casino states with $149.3 million in GGR during June 2023.
The Big Three online casino operators nationwide in terms of GGR accept bets here:
- BetMGM Casino
- DraftKings Casino
- FanDuel Casino
However, DraftKings owns GNOG. When Bonus looked at the Pennsylvania GNOG site on Aug. 10, it had 35 DraftKings/GNOG games, including:
- Hyper Strike slots
- branded blackjack, baccarat, craps, roulette, and keno games
Plus, Golden Nugget is well-known just across Pennsylvania’s border in New Jersey.
So GNOG is likely entering Pennsylvania’s marketplace with a chance to take in more deposits than smaller operators like Betway and Unibet.