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DraftKings finalises Golden Nugget Online Gaming acquisition

DraftKings has completed the prolonged takeover of Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG) for a value of $1.56bn, nine months after the bid was approved in August 2021. 

draftkings golden nugget gi web image

The Golden Nugget brand, which opened its first land-based casino in 1946, has since transformed into an online gambling operator, with live dealer casino functionality and a fully integrated sportsbook. 

It is the online assets that have been purchased by DraftKings; the GNOG acquisition does not include land-based Golden Nugget casinos, which are owned by Fertitta Entertainment. 

DraftKings Chairman & CEO Jason Robins commented: “Acquiring GNOG gives us synergies across our business. We anticipate this acquisition will provide meaningful revenue uplift by utilising our data-driven marketing capabilities and a dual-brand iGaming strategy, gross margin improvement opportunities and cost savings across external marketing and SG&A.  

“I am proud to welcome the Golden Nugget Online Gaming team to the DraftKings family.” 

The ‘synergies’ mentioned by Robins are expected to benefit DraftKings by $300m over time. The operator will leverage GNOG’s iGaming assets and, in combination with its own, enhance DraftKings’ customer offering. GNOG’s employees will be transitioned across to DraftKings as part of the deal. 

GNOG Chairman & CEO Tilman Fertitta said: “This will be an alliance unlike any other in the digital sports, entertainment and online gaming industry. Now the acquisition is completed, I look forward to what the future will bring for our combined company and I'm confident this relationship will be a huge success.” 

Part of the reason behind the prolonged acquisition process is an investigation over an alleged violation of security law. Juan Monteverde of Monteverde & Associates questioned whether GNOG and its Board of Directors breached its fiduciary duties by failing to conduct a fair process. 

This isn’t the first time a DraftKings acquisition process has come under scrutiny from the authorities. In August 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced it was investigating DraftKings’ purchase of SBTech, a sports betting technology provider.

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