Golden Nugget Online Gaming to Go Public

  • Landcadia Holdings II will acquire Golden Nugget Online Gaming in a deal worth around $745m
  • Landcadia was specifically created for this purpose and will take Golden Nugget's name
  • The resulting company will trade on the Nasdaq exchange
"GOING PUBLIC" typed on a stock trading screen
Golden Nugget Online Gaming and Lancadia Holdings II have agreed to a reverse merger in order for the former to begin trading on the Nasdaq exchange. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Major milestone

Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG) is planning to go public on the Nasdaq exchange as part of a reverse merger agreement with Landcadia Holdings II. 

Landcadia II is a special purpose acquisition company, also known as a “blank check” company, created specifically for this reason following a joint venture between Jefferies Financial Group Inc and Fertitta Entertainment, Inc. Blank check companies provide a way for a business to go public without having an initial public offering (IPO).

Landry’s Incorporated, owned by billionaire businessman Tilman Fertitta, is the parent company of Golden Nugget casinos. Golden Nugget Online Gaming is the online division of the casinos group.

Landcadia II will change its name to Golden Nugget Online Gaming

If the deal goes ahead, it would make Golden Nugget Online Gaming the second company whose sole business is online gambling to be publicly traded on a US exchange. The merger is expected to be confirmed during the third quarter of 2020. Landcadia II will change its name to Golden Nugget Online Gaming and shares will trade on Nasdaq with the ticker symbol GNOG. The current valuation for GNOG is about $745m, representing 6.1x the company’s projected revenue of $122m in 2021. 

Jumping on opportunity

Landcadia II co-chair and Jefferies chief executive Rich Handler said of the deal: “GNOG is one of the best positioned companies to capitalize on this massive online gaming opportunity in the US.”

When customers hear the name Golden Nugget, they know they are dealing with a trusted online gaming business.”

Tilman Fertitta will still be the company’s chairman and chief executive and Thomas Winter will remain president. In a statement, Fertitta was complementary of Winter’s efforts in growing the company’s online division since it first launched seven years ago. 

Fertitta also spoke about the company’s position in the casino space, saying: “When customers hear the name Golden Nugget, they know they are dealing with a trusted online gaming business.”

Market outlook

Golden Nugget is the New Jersey online casino market leader, accounting for 33.8% of the state’s gross gaming revenue in May. While it currently only has a presence in the New Jersey online market, it has agreements in place to launch in Pennsylvania and Michigan. The plan is to have presence in each of these states in 2021 once regulatory approval is received. 

Some of the other recent gambling-related companies to go public include DraftKings and GAN. The former also used a reverse merger to go public, while the latter went down the IPO route