There’s so much inside baseball to the DraftKings Golden Nugget takeover that an MLB umpire might issue it a warning. However, there are also some nuggets that the average Pennsylvania online casino player should be aware of.
Those include what this means for the ongoing wait for one of the most popular online casino brands finally going live in PA, what could change with DraftKings Casino in PA, and whether the changes will be a net benefit to players.
Details of the DraftKings Golden Nugget purchase
On Monday, DraftKings announced an all-stock play for Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG). Since Fertitta Entertainment spun GNOG off and took the company public last year, this might have been the desired result all along.
The value of the DraftKings stock that will change hands, upon regulatory approval, is around $1.56 billion. GNOG CEO Tillman Fertitta will be the recipient of most of that value. In addition, Fertitta will take a seat on DraftKings’ board.
The company expects the transaction to close sometime early next year. In exchange for the stock and giving Fertitta some say in the company, DraftKings gets one of the strongest online casino brands in the country.
In Pennsylvania right now, that doesn’t have much relevance. Despite being fully licensed and approved, Golden Nugget has yet to launch its online casino app in PA. Could DraftKings’ takeover hasten that launch? That depends on your frame of reference.
Will DraftKings light a fire under Golden Nugget PA?
Given that regulators still need to approve this transaction, immediate action on this front is quite unlikely. It simply wouldn’t make sense to mobilize the necessary resources to launch in a new market with an ownership change pending.
However, once the acquisition closes, that might be a different story. It would also be illogical to invest over a billion dollars into a product and not activate every possible avenue for recouping that investment. The online casino market in PA represents one such avenue.
DraftKings could use its resources to immediately begin working on taking Golden Nugget online casino live in PA. That might include launching the casino under a name like “Golden Nugget Casino by DraftKings.” However, that’s pure speculation right now.
What seems less speculative is how the two brands could co-exist in PA under the same roof. In fact, PA online casino players have already seen this exact phenomenon already.
What BetMGM and Borgata tell us about the future
In PA, BetMGM Casino and Borgata Casino are the equivalents of “siblings.” MGM operates and owns both brands. For that reason, players on both apps often see identical promotions and the same exclusive game titles. Players on both apps also can participate in the M Life rewards program.
Once Golden Nugget is live in PA, players on that app and DraftKings Casino might see some of the same collaborations. Games that are exclusive to DraftKings Casino and Golden Nugget Casino might become available on both platforms.
Additionally, players might be able to earn and use DraftKings Crowns on either casino app. What seems quite certain is that if and when DraftKings does take Golden Nugget Casino live in PA, it will support that rollout with plenty of advertising and introductory bonuses for new customers.
The same thing will likely apply past the initial period in regard to promotions. There could be a lot of crossover between the two brands. Is the possible rollout of a DraftKings-owned Golden Nugget Casino in PA a win for DraftKings or players? The answer could be both.
The upsides of DraftKings purchase of Golden Nugget
DraftKings Casino is already among the market leaders in PA. If it launches Golden Nugget Casino and that brand starts taking market share away from competitors, that’s obviously a win for DraftKings.
As long as those competitors are determined to fight for that market share and not succumb to DraftKings’ pilfering, players stand to benefit from that contest. The sparring for position might mean more frequent and lucrative deals for players to get in on.
Naturally, should DraftKings become too much of a behemoth in the PA online casino game, that could have a detrimental effect on players’ bankrolls. The incentive to make games with a better return-to-player percentage, for example, disappears.
The parties that stand to lose the most from the DraftKings Golden Nugget takeover could be the other online casino providers in PA. For the here and now, players should just watch the news to see if DraftKings has any more to say about Golden Nugget’s future in PA.