Although the industry has not yet launched, Missouri is proving another focal point of sports betting interest. Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG) has signed a partnership with Affinity Interactive to secure access to the market once the state enables online gambling.
GNOG Is Betting on the Tethered Option
GNOG is ready to launch both an online sports betting and gaming platform through this partnership. The launch will come with the help of Affinity’s land-based properties in the state.
While policymakers have not agreed on any particular draft bill, chances are any outcome would require a “tethered” option. This means that any license holder in the state would need to have a land-based partner. GNOG seems to think as much, and it has already teamed up with Affinity.
The tether option makes sense as online is likely to dominate any future gambling activity and not offering a revenue-shared model through tethering would diminish retail gambling properties’ revenue, and possibly put them out of business.
GNOG president Thomas Winter has expressed his appreciation for the opportunity offered to be teaming up with Affinity Interactive and added:
“We look forward to a successful partnership with AI as we continue to expand access to our leading online gaming products across North America.”GNOG president Thomas Winter
The current arrangement will require GNOG to pay out a percentage of the net profit back to Affinity Interactive. Affinity Interactive CEO Mary Beth Higgins welcomed the news on a similar note and said that the company was excited to offer its Mark Twain Casino and St. Jo Frontier Casino as partners for GNOG. She described the interactive brand as an established online gambling operator in the United States.
How Close Is Missouri to Launching Sports Betting?
Several sports betting bills are already hitting different parts of the legislature, with sports fans and sports franchises both hoping to see a successful outcome during the legislative session. Among the bills featured is Senate Bill 764, which may have the shortest trip from the house to the governor’s office.
Of course, Governor Mike Parson’s signature is still necessary to make this bill a reality. The bill is particularly good for the state, and future license holders, as it allows online betting platforms to enter the market.
Application fees under the bill are very low, just $10,000, and the tax on gambling is 6.25%, which is still fairly low. However, the Missouri Gaming Commission would be able to collect $50,000 renewal fees. A small drawback to this legalization is that college sports, a huge part of the sports betting industry, will remain locked out.
Proposition bets, a sort of high-risk, high-return wagers, will also remain unavailable. However, this bill may not really be in the cards anymore, as a report said that six professional franchises from the state had reached an agreement for a version of the law that would allow them to hold a betting license each, proving a way to bolster each organization’s finances.
GNOG is in a perfect position to benefit from the state’s sports betting legalization. Nevertheless, it may have to wait a little while longer.