Golden Nugget Online Gaming Completes Reverse Merger to Go Public

Trading on NASDAQ

Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG) is now a publicly traded company following a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Landcadia Holdings II, Inc.

A majority of the SPAC’s stockholders voted in favor of the merger on Tuesday. The vote was originally to take place on December 18, but was postponed because of an insufficient number of necessary votes. Shareholders finally held the vote after the deal rules were changed so that a simple majority was all that was necessary to complete the merger.

A reverse merger allows a privately owned company to go public without an initial public offering (IPO). It merges with the SPAC (which is already publicly traded) and the private company becomes a public company.

The merged company is called Golden Nugget Online Gaming Inc. and is traded on the NASDAQ under the “GNOG” ticker symbol. The share price fell by more than 10% over the course of the first day of trading with the new name on December 30.

No major changes

As part of the merger, Tilman Fertitta will remain as the CEO of the company, as well as chairman of the board. The Houston Rockets owner was the controlling principal of both the target company and the SPAC in this deal. Thomas Winter will still be the president, with the rest of the team at Golden Nugget Online Gaming remaining in their roles.

we see tremendous opportunity in the online gaming space”

Following the completion of the merger, Fertitta said: “I am pleased to see the business combination finally close. We see tremendous opportunity in the online gaming space and are excited to be a part of it.”

GNOG was the first company to bring legal live dealer games to the United States internet gaming market through its New Jersey offering. Its products have won numerous awards over the years and its parent company is the owner and operator of many land-based casinos across the country.

Online gambling reverse mergers

Going public via a reverse merger with a SPAC has become a recent trend on Wall Street. DraftKings was one of the first major online gambling companies to follow this route when it went public in April.

Rush Street Interactive (RSI) also completed a reverse merger with the dMY Technology Group Inc. on December 30. RSI is the online offshoot of Rush Street Gaming, the operator of four casinos through the Rivers brand.

RSI currently operates in six states: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and New Jersey. It also has market access in three other states, including New York.

In going public, RSI has $240m on its balance sheet, with the press release for the merger stating that the company “has experienced a revenue increase of nearly five times from the first nine months of 2019 to the first nine months of 2020.”

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