The online arm of Golden Nugget announced today it entered into a definitive agreement with Danville Development to ensure market access for online sports wagering and, when legalized, iGaming in Illinois.
New Golden Nugget Casino
The agreement struck between Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG) and Danville Development, a joint venture company between Wilmot, a subsidiary of New York-based real estate developer Wilmorite Management Group, and GN Danville, a wholly owned subsidiary of Golden Nugget, will create a new joint venture, Wilmot Gaming Illinois, which will develop a new casino in Danville, pending regulatory approvals.
“”We are thrilled to gain market access in Illinois, the 5th most populous US state and the largest to have regulated mobile wagering to date. This is a tremendous opportunity for us to further increase our US footprint and deliver on our ambitious growth plans. We look forward to bringing our award-winning online offerings to the Prairie State.”Thomas Winter, President, GNOG
Upon opening, the new gaming facility will be branded Golden Nugget and will feature a Landry’s restaurant steakhouse. Under the agreement, exclusive rights for online sports wagering and, eventually, online casino wagering will be held by GNOG, which committed to providing a mezzanine loan of $30 million to Danville Development for the construction of the casino.
“This is Golden Nugget’s first joint venture on a casino project, and we are honored to be the one selected amongst numerous bidders for this opportunity by the Wilmot family after a highly competitive process. Having the ability to grow the Golden Nugget brand in Illinois in both the online and land based markets is an exciting opportunity.”Tilman J. Fertitta, Owner and CEO, Golden Nugget & GNOG
Expanding into Illinois
Besides financing the development of the new brick-and-mortar gaming facility, GNOG will pay the developer a percentage of its online net gaming revenue, subject to minimum royalty payments, over the whole 20-year term of the agreement.
“Wilmot is pleased to deliver Golden Nugget and GNOG to the City of Danville and is excited to partner with Tilman J. Fertitta. The Golden Nugget is a nationally recognized brand and strengthens the submission, provides additional opportunities, and upgrades the overall project.”James A. Wilmot, Vice President, Wilmot
The market entry in Illinois is in line with the plans of GNOG to expand into other states after establishing its firm presence in New Jersey. The company is in the process of applying for an online gaming license in Pennsylvania, being one of two qualified gaming entities (QGEs), with MGM, approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) for the remaining license slots in the state, where GNOG would want to offer table and slot games. QGEs are not allowed to offer sports betting.
GNOG already secured market access into Michigan, having teamed up with Keweenaw Bay Indian Community to use the tribe’s Ojibwa Casino as a launching pad for its sportsbook and online offering, planned for 2021.