Express train to public trading
According to a report from Bloomberg, online gaming developer and operator Rush Street Gaming is in discussions to go public. Sources close to the business media outlet say that the Rush Street’s partner for the move would be special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), dMY Technology Group Inc.
dMY still needs to raise another $150m to go through with the merger. It already raised $230m in its own initial public offering in February.
Bloomberg says that a deal could be confirmed within days.
DraftKings, Golden Nugget do the same
Using a special purpose acquisition company to go public has become an increasingly popular move in recent months, especially in the online gaming sector. Companies can skip several steps to become a publicly traded company and investors can more quickly cash in on the growing U.S. internet gambling and sports betting industries.
In April, DraftKings went public in a three-way merger with SBTech and Diamond Eagle Acquisition Company. Diamond Eagle, a SPAC, bought both DraftKings and SBTech; the combined company then changed its name to DraftKings and its Nasdaq stock ticker to DKNG.
At the end of June, Golden Nugget announced that it was going to take Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Inc. public the same way. Landcadia Holdings II, a blank-check, publicly-traded company, will acquire Golden Nugget’s internet business unit. The resulting merged firm will change its name Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Inc. and change its ticker symbol from LCA to GNOG.
it appears that it was created for this specific situation
Landcadia II was not only created for the purpose of buying a company, it appears that it was created for this specific situation, as it was founded by Jefferies Financial Group Inc. and Fertitta Entertainment, Inc. Fertitta Entertainment holds the companies that are owned by Tilman Fertitta, one of which is the Golden Nugget casinos.
Rush Street making inroads in U.S.
While Rush Street Interactive does not have the brand name to the casual bettor that a DraftKings, FanDuel, or MGM do, it has been very active in the U.S. online gambling market. Almost as soon as the U.S. Supreme Court overturned PASPA, RSI announced a pact with Kambi Group in which Kambi provides Rush Street with its sports betting technology.
Rush Street Interactive owns the BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse brands and has been very aggressive in getting them into people’s homes. It now has online sports betting products live in five states. In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, RSI also offers online casino gambling.
pandemic shut down land-based casinos and sportsbooks just days after those first bets
Most recently, BetRivers became the first online sportsbook to launch in Illinois, just three months after becoming the first brick-and-mortar sportsbook to take a bet in the Land of Lincoln. The timing of the latter was unfortunate, as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down land-based casinos and sportsbooks just days after those first bets.