New Jersey regulators approve Golden Nugget Online merger with Fertitta-backed SPAC

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The New Jersey Casino Control Commission approved a casino license for Golden Nugget Online Gaming as an internet gaming affiliate of Golden Nugget Atlantic City.

The NJCCC’s decision allows for GNOG to merge with Landcadia Holdings II, Inc., a special purpose acquisition company co-owned by Tilman Fertitta. He will serve as CEO of GNOG.

Pending approval from the Federal Trade Commission, GNOC will join DraftKings as the only two pure play online gaming companies in the country.

Lancadia, which trades under the NASDAQ ticker LCA, will assume $150m in GNOC liabilities.

The SPAC was trading at $17.75 late Wednesday, up 8.43%. Its shares will be sold under GNOG after FTC approval.

Golden Nugget’s decision to separate online gaming away from its land based casino in Atlantic City drew some criticism over fears that it could leave the brick-and-mortar in a precarious financial situation.

Dylan Thompson on behalf of the Division of Gaming Enforcement said, “The transaction would deprive (the brick-and-mortar casino) of the much-needed cash flow from internet gaming on a permanent basis.”

GNOG has took in $263m of revenue through the first 10 months of 2020. The land-based Golden Nugget Atlantic City earned $199m in 2019.

GNOG recently announced online market access deals in Illinois and West Virginia and plans to enter Michigan and Pennsylvania in 2021.

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