Golden Nugget, New Jersey’s leading online casino, is coming to Michigan to provide online casino games and sports betting.
On Thursday, Golden Nugget Online Casino surprised many by revealing its partner, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, with which it planned to join forces. Golden Nugget had earlier hinted at its entry to Michigan online gambling without disclosing its would-be partner.
The Keweenaw Bay owns and operates two casinos in Michigan under the Ojibwa Casino brand; both are situated at the Upper Peninsula.
While commenting on the development, Golden Nugget’s senior vice president and general manager of online gaming, Thomas Winter said,
“Golden Nugget Online Gaming is excited to partner with the Ojibwa Casino to offer Michigan casino players a premium online casino and sportsbook experience.”
Bringing a land-based brand online
For now, Golden Nugget is unrivaled in the NJ online casino market. However, that supremacy is narrow in focus.
Despite its having an online sportsbook as well, its revenue is among the lowest in NJ. Besides, there is no online presence currently in any other state, though it may penetrate the Pennsylvania market after getting licenses, a matter of a few weeks.
However, Golden Nugget has the potential to be a significant player in the US online gambling market, thanks largely to its name. The original Golden Nugget Casino began its operations way back in 1946, and it is almost synonymous with “old Vegas” among people.
Such associations may come at a price of complete independence, but Golden Nugget will be working to keep its online division some autonomy.
Currently, the company’s iGaming division is undergoing the process of going online, by way of an exclusive purpose of acquisitions company, Landcadia II. Once the arrangements are finalized, Golden Nugget Online Gambling (GNOG) will be listed on the NASDAQ exchange. Its approximate initial valuation would be $745 million.
While presenting the deal to investors, GNOG noted that it plans to focus on the highest-valued segment of customers. Its online casino players generate more revenue per active month than their brick-and-mortar counterparts and seven times as much as an online sports bettor.
According to GNOG, the company’s average customer is worth around $7700 over the course of five years, comparing DraftKings’ self-estimated $2400.
Golden Nugget resisting the Michigan sports trend
Despite the high hopes of GNOG’s to put the plan in action by the early-2021, there are still doubts about the intended launch timeline for online gambling in Michigan.
A majority of the other competitors in the state have focused on sports first and foremost. For instance, The Stars Group, the poker giant, has said more about its Fox Bet Sportsbook while discussing its collaboration with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians.
GNOG clarified that it would take the opposite direction.
In a pre-recorded message, Golden Nugget owner Tilman Fertitta told the stakeholders that the company is wholly committed to the iGaming business. He said,
“That’s where the (real) money is, that’s where the client is more valuable, and that’s where the huge money is going to be made going forward.”