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Gambling in the USA

Golden Nugget Online Gaming To Become Public

George Miller

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Golden Nugget Online Gaming To Become Public
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Landcadia Holdings II, Inc. to Acquire Golden Nugget Online Gaming

Tilman J. Fertitta and Landcadia Holdings II,  Inc. announced today that Landcadia II has entered into a Purchase Agreement to acquire Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Inc. (“GNOG”), a US online real money casino owned by Tilman Fertitta, recognized by both its peers and customers alike as the industry leading online casino that brought Live Dealer to the US market place. Landcadia II is a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company co-sponsored by Fertitta Entertainment, Inc. and Jefferies Financial Group Inc.

GNOG will become only the second pure publicly traded online casino company in the US. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.  Upon closing, Landcadia II intends to change its name to Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Inc. and its Nasdaq trading symbol to GNOG.

“GNOG is one of the best positioned companies to capitalize on this massive online gaming opportunity in the US,” said Rich Handler, Co-Chairman of Landcadia II and CEO of Jefferies LLC. “We at Jefferies couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Tilman and bring this great opportunity to the public markets.”

Golden Nugget is a household name throughout the United States and its iGaming business is a well-established leader in New Jersey, the largest online gaming market in North America. GNOG has obtained market access, subject to regulatory approval, to Pennsylvania and Michigan and anticipates launching its online casino brand in each of those new markets in early 2021.

GNOG is known among its industry peers as the preeminent operator in the US online gaming market, having won the EGR North America Top Operator Award for three consecutive years. GNOG is known for its innovation, including initiating Live Dealer, Live Casino Floor gambling and a number of exclusive slot machine games to mobile devices, tablets and computers throughout New Jersey, as well as its top-notch 24/7 customer support.

Tilman J. Fertitta will remain GNOG’s Chairman and CEO, and Thomas Winter, who was brought in to develop Golden Nugget’s online gaming business, will continue to serve as GNOG’s President.  During the seven years since Thomas Winter started Golden Nugget’s iGaming business in New Jersey, revenues and profitability have grown each year despite facing competition with greater financial resources. According to Mr. Fertitta, “Golden Nugget is one of the most time-honored brands in the gaming business today. When customers hear the name Golden Nugget, they know they are dealing with a trusted online gaming business. Thomas 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.”

GNOG Highlights

  • Started operation in New Jersey Q4 2013
  • Became profitable in 2016
  • First online gaming company to launch Live Dealer in the US
  • Won Industry award as top operator 3 years in a row
  • First to launch Live Casino Floor in US
  • Net Income of over $11 million in 2019

Key Transaction Terms

The transaction values the combined company at an anticipated pro forma enterprise value of approximately $745 million, or 6.1x GNOG’s estimated 2021 revenue of $122 million. The consideration payable to the parent entity of GNOG will consist of a combination of cash and rollover equity in Landcadia II.  Upon completion of the transaction, Tilman J. Fertitta, Chairman and CEO, will, through the parent entity of GNOG, hold a controlling economic interest (through an Up-C structure described below) and a controlling voting interest in the combined company.  The combined company will have a dual-class share structure with super voting rights for Mr. Fertitta.

Landcadia II will be assuming $150 million of GNOG debt of and will pay down at closing an additional $150 million of its debt, plus pay prepayment fees, transaction fees and expenses. Subject to redemptions, there is approximately $321 million currently held in Landcadia II’s trust account. Upon payment of the purchase price, debt repayment and transaction fees and expenses, the combined company will have at least $80 million on its consolidated balance sheet at closing and an anticipated pro forma equity market capitalization of nearly $700 million.

The transaction will be structured as an Up-C where an entity indirectly owned by Mr. Fertitta will retain common units of a partnership managed by the combined company and an equal number of non-economic voting shares in the combined company.  The combined company will also enter into a customary tax receivable arrangement with such entity indirectly owned by Mr. Fertitta, which will provide for the sharing of tax benefits relating to certain pre-combination tax attributes, as well as tax attributes generated by the transaction and any subsequent sales or exchanges by the entity indirectly owned by Mr. Fertitta of their equity interests, as those attributes are realized by the combined company.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of Landcadia II, upon the unanimous recommendation of a committee comprised solely of Landcadia II’s disinterested independent directors (the “Committee”).  The transaction will require the approval of a majority of the outstanding shares of Landcadia II, excluding shares beneficially owned by Tilman J. Fertitta and Jefferies Financial Group, and is subject to customary closing conditions, including certain regulatory approvals. Jefferies LLC is acting as exclusive financial and capital markets advisor to Landcadia II.  Haynes and Boone LLP is acting as legal advisor to GNOG. White & Case LLP is acting as legal advisor to Landcadia II. Houlihan Lokey, Inc. is serving as financial advisor to the Committee of Landcadia II.

 

SOURCE Landcadia Holdings II, Inc.

Gambling in the USA

Sporting Solutions partners with SCCG Management to accelerate U.S. strategy

George Miller

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Sporting Solutions partners with SCCG Management to accelerate U.S. Strategy
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Leading sportsbook and lottery supplier Sporting Solutions has teamed up with U.S.-based consultants SCCG Management to accelerate its entry into the North American sports betting market.

SCCG will provide business development and strategic support to Sporting Solutions in the region, as the sportsbook supplier builds on its success in highly competitive and regulated global jurisdictions.

Alongside fully automated solutions for pricing and risk management, which leverage and incorporate machine management techniques from global financial markets to generate bespoke odds, Sporting Solutions will supply its cutting-edge sportsbook software and trader tooling. The dynamic, modular and highly configurable offerings are designed to give U.S. operators an alternative to the manual and inflexible approach of incumbent solutions.

Sporting Solutions has long been regarded as a market-leader for U.S. sports, with an extensive suite of proprietary models powered by access to a wide range of official data and overlaid with superior pricing and trading expertise. Its latest offerings are complemented by a range of features for U.S. players designed to enhance the customer experience and improve business performance.

With a head office in Las Vegas, SCCG Management has extensive experience providing business and product development services in the U.S. betting and gaming market, partnering with some of the industry’s leading operators and suppliers, including Betfred.

Edward Peace, Managing Director of Sporting Solutions, said: “We are pleased to be bringing SCCG Management on board to assist with our North American operations and have high hopes for the opportunities the partnership will present.” He added: “Our combined expertise will serve as a major advantage as we move to fast-track our growth strategy in the region and build on our strong international brand presence to gain market share in sports betting states.”

Stephen Crystal, Managing Partner at SCCG Management, said: “Sporting Solutions’ value proposition is unique in the way it helps operators deliver a bespoke, highly differentiated sports betting experience to their customers. Their pricing, risk management and software solutions are proven to help partners improve hold percentages, grow handle and win market share in competitive markets around the world, and we believe they will prove highly disruptive in the U.S. market.

“We will work closely together to cement the company’s unique market position, leveraging their established skills and products as well as our experience in driving growth in the ever-changing sports betting landscape.”

Sporting Solutions was acquired in June 2019 by FDJ Gaming Solutions, an FDJ Group company, to support its B2B strategy, which is focused on driving growth from international markets.

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Gambling in the USA

Amelco secures Colorado regulatory approval

George Miller

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Amelco secures Colorado regulatory approval
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Amelco, the leading sports betting software and trading services provider, has secured yet another major US milestone, receiving regulatory approval to operate in the state of Colorado.

The supplier of choice for the U.S. industry’s multi-territory tier one operators, including Flutter Entertainment and FOX Bet, the Colorado licence is the latest landmark in Amelco’s US development roadmap.

Already live in Colorado with the Stars Group, the provider is set to launch its second sports betting platform, BetWildwood, later in July – via a joint venture with ISI Race & Sports to deliver Wildwood Casino’s inaugural online sportsbook.

Commenting on its Colorado expansion, Brandon Walker, Head of Business Development at Amelco said:

“I’m delighted to announce that Amelco has added another licence to our growing list of US states where will be doing business – highlighting our platform’s capability to meet any compliance requirement.

“As well as the Stars Group, we’re set to deliver Wildwood Casino’s first online sports betting offering, one of Cripple Creek’s most popular VIP-centric locations, with a series of further major sports wagering partnerships due to be announced later in the year.”

With more than a decade of experience in supplying tailored software solutions, Amelco provides bespoke enterprise sports betting and trading platforms to a large number of leading sportsbooks around the world.

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Compliance Updates

GiG Secures Sports Betting License in Colorado for WSN.com

George Miller

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GiG Secures Sports Betting License in Colorado for WSN.com
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Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) has further expanded its presence in the United States after receiving a Vendor Minor sports betting license for its flagship affiliate site WSN.com from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission.

GiG Media is now active in seven US states through its flagship US-facing sports betting website World Sports Network (WSN.com).

GiG was granted its first affiliate vendor registration in January 2019 for the state of New Jersey. This was followed in December 2019 by a certificate of registration for sports wagering in Indiana. In February 2020, GiG secured authorisation from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to provide affiliate services in the Keystone State.

Jonas Warrer, Managing Director of GiG Media, said “We are delighted to further strengthen our position in the US with this latest license approval. WSN.com continues to gain momentum in the US market and Colorado provides us with an even greater opportunity to convert visitors into players as legal sportsbooks begin accepting customers in the state.”

Colorado became the 18th state to legalise online sports betting in the US in May 2020. The online sports betting market in the centennial state is estimated to reach approximately $200 million in annual revenue at saturation, according to H2 Gambling Capital.

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