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Golden Nugget Online Gaming Headed To Kansas In Partnership With Boot Hill Casino

James Murphy
by in Gaming Industry on
  • Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG) is headed to Kansas via a partnership with Boot Hill Casino for online and mobile sports betting.
  • GNOG’s sports and/or iGaming platform is live in Arizona, Michigan, New Jersey and West Virginia. They’ve indicated that they’ve secured market access in a total of 14 US states.
  • GNOG is now a subsidiary of DraftKings though it appears they’ll continue to operate as a separate brand.

We’ve wondered what Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG) is up to for awhile now. Their future has been cloudy since DraftKings announced plans to acquire GNOG for $1.56 billion USD in an all stock deal. We’ve found out bits and pieces, which has allowed us to get a decent idea of the plans for their immediate future though neither GNOG or DraftKings has provided much clarity about it. Earlier today, they announced plans to launch online and mobile sports betting in Kansas. This is really the first guidance with any specificity that they’ve communicated.

It became apparent earlier this year that DraftKings would continue to run GNOG as a separate, independent brand–at least for the immediate future. DraftKings Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman Jason Robins addressed the GNOG purchase during the company’s Q4 2021 earnings call in February 2022, but his comments created more questions than he answered:

And upon closing, we are prepared to integrate the business and capture the synergies we outlined when we announced the transaction in August. We’re excited to deploy a multi-brand strategy while accessing the millions of loyal Golden Nugget Online Gaming and Fertitta Entertainment customers.

We anticipate multiple channels for cost savings by, among other things, recognizing enhanced returns on advertising spend through marketing efficiencies and eliminating platform costs by migrating to DraftKings’ in-house technology

Dig through all of the corporate buzzwords and you’re left with a) DraftKings will ‘integrate’ GNOG in order to ‘realize synergies and b) will ‘deploy a multi-brand strategy’. The first comment suggests that the company will be absorbed into DraftKings, but the second suggests that they’ll be run as an independent brand. Prior to the DraftKings acquisition, GNOG indicated that they would launch in Colorado, Louisiana and Iowa this year. They have also intimated that they’ll launch in Ontario, though unless I’m mistaken they haven’t initiated that process. Meanwhile, there has been some theorizing among gaming industry analysts that DraftKings will ‘assimilate’ GNOG’s sports betting business and use the ‘Golden Nugget’ marquee for online casino gaming.

The announcement that GNOG will launch in Kansas provides a little bit of clarity. GNOG will partner with Butler National Corporation, parent company of the Boot Hill Casino & Resort in Dodge City, Kansas. Dodge City is just over 5 hours southwest of Kansas City, just over 2 hours and 30 minutes west of Wichita, 4 hours north of Amarillo, Texas and 4 hours northwest of Oklahoma City. They’ll be opening a retail sportsbook and it should get plenty of business since sports betting isn’t on the immediate horizon in Texas or Oklahoma. Boot Hill Casino previously announced online/mobile partnerships with DraftKings and Bally’s Corporation.

The press release announcing the deal included a quote from Clark Stewart, President and CEO of Butler National Corporation:

“We’re pleased with the regulatory efforts to implement sports wagering in Kansas.”

“Golden Nugget Online Gaming is a recognized and established brand within the gaming industry.  We’re thrilled our customers may soon experience all the excitement that online sports betting has to offer. We’re excited for Golden Nugget Online Gaming, to be able to bring Kansans a seamless, safe and premium sports betting experience through its Golden Nugget Online Gaming-branded sportsbook, subject to receipt of requisite regulatory approvals.” 

“We are looking forward to driving new tourism and revenue for the State of Kansas into Dodge City.”

The Boot Hill Casino website has no mention of sports betting at present. This is likely due to the fact that advertising standards for sports betting in Kansas are still ‘TBA’. I’ve tentatively planned a trip to Kansas early next year to take a first hand look at their nascent sports betting industry.

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