Golden Nugget pulls out of Va. after DraftKings acquisition
Merger will not free up Va. license
DraftKings Inc. closed its acquisition of Golden Nugget Online Gaming Inc., the Boston-based company announced last week, and Golden Nugget will therefore no longer operate in Virginia.
Golden Nugget Online Sportsbook in Virginia said it stopped accepting registrations, wagers and deposits in early May and would no longer offer promotions. For 60 days after the site’s closure, players can withdraw funds and check their account history but cannot place new wagers. After the 60-day period, Golden Nugget will attempt to manually revert the funds back to the bettor through a recent deposit method.
The companies announced the acquisition agreement in August 2021. DraftKings agreed to acquire Golden Nugget Online Gaming in an all-stock transaction with an implied equity value of approximately $1.56 billion.
The acquisition shouldn’t have any real impact on the market, said Steven Schult, managing editor of PlayFL, who has also served as managing editor of PlayVirginia.
“It doesn’t really change the amount that will be bet. It just changes where it will be bet … There are still plenty of operators in the state, so consolidating two — losing one — doesn’t make a big difference,” he said.
Nor does the acquisition free up a state license, Virginia Lottery spokesperson John Hagerty said in an email.
“At this time, there will not be an additional sportsbook license available,” Hagerty wrote. “The merger does not free up a sportsbook permit during the current application period.”
DraftKings will absorb Golden Nugget Online Gaming’s employees, and Thomas Winter, who was president of Golden Nugget Online Gaming, will transition to DraftKings’ general manager of North America iGaming.
Golden Nugget made one of six casino proposals in Richmond last year, but it was rejected by a city commission. Urban One Inc.’s casino proposal was chosen but voted down by Richmond voters last year.