Deal With Tioga Downs Gives Golden Nugget A Potential Seat At NY Online Gambling Table

Posted By Martin Harris on February 26, 2021

New York has yet to legalize online gambling. But that hasn’t stopped casinos in the state from readying themselves for such a situation.

Earlier this week, Penn National Gaming and Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady announced they had entered 20-year “strategic partnership” that would allow Penn Interactive access to Rivers’ “second skin” should online casinos and/or sportsbooks come to NY.

Days later, a similar partnership emerged. Golden Nugget Online Gaming has entered into an agreement with Tioga Downs Casino Resort. The deal is “for future online gaming market access in the state of New York.”

Again, that access will be contingent first on the passage of online gambling legislation. It will also depend on the subsequent availability of licenses, in addition to regulatory approval.

Golden Nugget ‘online growth’ strategy includes NY

The agreement would make Tioga Downs a land-based partner for Golden Nugget in New York. In return, Golden Nugget will pay Tioga Downs “a percentage of its net gaming revenue, which will be subject to minimum royalty payments for the duration of the term.”

Like the Penn National-Rivers deal, the partnership between Golden Nugget and Tioga Downs will span 20 years.

The agreement means Golden Nugget now has such potential “market access” in nine states altogether.

“New York is key to our growth strategy and we look forward to the state embracing online gaming,” said Thomas Winter, president of Golden Nugget Online Gaming. In the announcement, the gaming group speculated that the NY online casino market could grow as large as $2 billion annually.

Winter added that Golden Nugget will seek partnerships in other states, as well, as lawmakers across the country continue to take up legalizing online gambling.

Golden Nugget hoping what works in NJ works in NY

Success in neighboring New Jersey certainly bolsters Golden Nugget’s enthusiasm about New York’s potential.

In a crowded New Jersey market, Golden Nugget has consistently topped monthly online casino revenue reports in the state. Its New Jersey network includes BetAmerica, Betfair and SugarHouse online casinos in addition to Golden Nugget’s own branded platform. In late January, Golden Nugget launched its first online casino in Michigan as well.

Those New York prospects, however, depend a great deal on the vagaries of the state’s legislators.

Bills have been introduced that would allow casinos to operate online sportsbooks, but not online casinos. Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been championing a single-operator system for online sports betting, run not by the casinos but by the state.

If New York adopted a system with multiple licenses and skins, that would benefit both Golden Nugget and Tioga Downs. For now, though, the new partners can only speculate whether “future online gaming market access” will ever come to pass.

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