By the end of May, DraftKings, one of the premier sports betting operators in America, is expected to close the $1.56 billion purchase of Tilman Fertitta’s Golden Nugget Online Gaming. While clarity of whether or not the company will operate their online and retail sportsbooks in the state of Nevada, DraftKings expected that stock transactions to be completed by May 31st. According to the filing that DraftKings completed with the Securities and Exchange Commision, the two companies will continue to work together to complete what’s left of the gaming regulatory approvals.
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The deal between DraftKings and Golden Nugget Online Gaming also involves a commercial agreement with Fertitta Entertainment, the holding company of Tilman Fertitta, a billionaire from Texas, that has a hand in industries the likes of gaming, dining, lodging, and entertainment sectors. Included in the entertainment portion are the Golden Nugget casinos in Vegas, Laughlin, and 3 other states. The Fertitta name is one of familiarity when it comes to the gambling industry. Besides Tilman Fertitta owning 46 percent of Golden Nugget Online Gaming, the CEO of Red Rock Resorts (Frank Fertitta) and the Vice-Chairman (Lorenzo Fertitta) are both cousins of Tilman. With a name that prominent, Tilman isn’t leaving the gambling industry just yet. Once the deal closes, he will join the DraftKings board. The news of the acquisition could not have come at a better time for DraftKings as the company’s stock price had dropped more than 20 percent since the beginning of 2022. With the announcement, DraftKings’ stock price went up by more than 7 percent.
Over the past four years, Draftkings has gone from one of the top online daily fantasy sports providers to one of the biggest in-person and online sports betting operators in the country. Out of the 20 states where sports betting is legal, DraftKings is available in 17 of them and continues expansion wherever possible. Out of those 17 states, DraftKings is often considered the best online sportsbook operator or at the very least, number 2 in the state.
The next step in the DraftKings acquisition process of Golden Nugget Online Gaming is taking DraftKings to Nevada. While neither DraftKings nor Golden Nugget Online Gaming is licensed in Nevada, one of the main talking points during the announcement was DraftKings rebranding brick-and-mortar sportsbooks under their name at established and future Golden Nugget casinos.
And while the Nevada Gaming Control Board has said that DraftKings completed an application for licensing, there’s still some time to go. Michael Lawton, who is the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s senior economic analyst, says that it will more than likely not be on the May agenda and will be heard by the board at a later date. However, the investigation needs to end first.
This isn’t the first time that DraftKings has made a move in the Las Vegas area. In October, they announced plans to purchase 90,000 square feet in the UnCommons complex in Las Vegas with the goal of creating a “technology hub” with more than 1,000 workers employed there. This office space will be DraftKings’ second-biggest behind their headquarters in Boston, MA. The move into Vegas shows that DraftKings has made an investment in their employees, the future of the company, and the local community of Las Vegas. The offices are expected to open in the coming months. Not satisfied with expansion in just the United States, DraftKings also announced that it was planning on launching sports betting in Ontario, Canada. Ontario is the first province in Canada to legalize single-game sports betting wagers. DraftKings was one of six companies to announce their plans to launch in Canada. Beyond Canada, DraftKings also is in the process of building a physical sportsbook at Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation’s Foxwoods El San Juan Casino in Puerto Rico.