Golden Nugget Online Gaming opened its Virginia sports betting app in Virginia on Thursday, becoming the ninth sportsbook available to gamblers in the commonwealth.
The Virginia Lottery Board approved a temporary permit for Golden Nugget on March 15 and GNOG is now available via iOS app, Android and web browsers. The board also approved a temporary sports wagering permit for Bally's Bet in March. No official word or launch dates have been announced for Bally's Bet.
Through the Golden Nugget app, bettors can place every type of wager, including moneylines, point spreads, totals, prop bets, in-game, live betting and more.
Golden Nugget joins the Virginia sportsbook market alongside FanDuel, BetRivers VA, DraftKings VA, WynnBET, BetMGM VA, Unibet, Caesars Sportsbook (formerly William Hill Sportsbook) and Barstool Sportsbook. FanDuel was the first to launch in January.
Market Consolidation for Sports Betting
The online sports betting market has exploded rapidly across states, but some see growth is slowing in the sector with key players pushing consolidation in the future.
In August, DraftKings and Golden Nugget announced they have entered into a definitive agreement for DraftKings to acquire Golden Nugget Online Gaming in an all-stock transaction that has an implied equity value of approximately $1.56 billion.
”The acquisition will enable DraftKings to leverage Golden Nugget’s well-known brand, iGaming product experience and existing combined database of more than five million customers,” DraftKings said in a news release.
“This transaction will add great value to the shareholders as two market leaders merge into a leading global player in digital sports, entertainment and online gaming,” Tilman Fertitta, chairman and CEO of GNOG, said in the release.
In addition, there will be multiple channels for cost savings by, among other things, eliminating platform costs as a result of migrating Golden Nugget’s current technology to DraftKings’ in-house proprietary platform, DraftKings said. By bringing Golden Nugget Online Gaming onto DraftKings’ in-house technology, DraftKings expects to eliminate current Golden Nugget Online Gaming’s third-party platform costs.
In July, former hedge fund manager Will Meade predicted on Twitter (@realwillmeade) that DraftKings, FanDuel or Penn National Gaming (Barstool) would buy a sports betting company this year.
Meade continued, saying Golden Nugget, BetRivers Sportsbook or theScore were likely to be targets. Penn National Gaming announced in August they will acquire Toronto-based Score Media and Gaming, which runs sports betting platform theScore, for $2 billion. And DraftKings is now acquiring Golden Nugget for $1.56 billion. Meade now predicts Rush Street Interactive (BetRivers) will be the target of a bidding war between FanDuel, BetMGM and sports merchandise giant and aspiring sportsbook operator Fanatics.
Annual Commitment To Virginia Schools
Just before launching its sports betting app in Virginia, Golden Nugget Online Gaming and Virginia Sports and Technology Group donated $1 million to five historically black college universities (HBCUs) in the state. The five schools to share the $1 million donation, $200,000 each, are: Virginia State University, Norfolk State University, Hampton University, Virginia Union University and the University of Lynchburg. Golden Nugget Online Gaming and has also agreed to share 4% of net gaming revenue with the Virginia HBCUs each year.
"Golden Nugget Online Gaming and Virginia Sports and Technology Group are doing the dedicated work that HBCUs nationwide need to see," VSU President Makola Abdullah said. "This investment will be used to make a greater difference in the lives of our VSU students for years to come.”
“We need more companies in Virginia and across the country to make these types of investments in HBCUs to ensure that students have greater access to opportunity universities like VSU,” said Tonya Hall, VSU vice president for External Relations.
“We aim for this to be a very long-term and prosperous endeavor,” said Kevin Vonasek, vice president of GNOG Corporate Development.
Golden Nugget is also live in Michigan, New Jersey, and West Virginia.