Golden Nugget Pulling Plug on Nevada Sports Betting App, Could DraftKings Be Replacement?


Golden Nugget is shutting down its Nevada mobile sports wagering application on April 26. The casino operator notified patrons about the decision in a Monday email blast.

DraftKings Golden Nugget
The Golden Nugget Las Vegas, seen above. The company is shutting down its Nevada sports betting app. (Image: FOX5 Vegas)

Customers without pending wagers can withdraw funds via the app or by visiting the Golden Nugget Casino in downtown Las Vegas. Those who don’t choose either of those options will receive paper checks by mail around July 1 at the address tied to their mobile betting account. Customers with wagers to settle after that date will receive checks 60 days after the bet is graded.

(We look forward) to providing a new mobile solution in the future,” said the gaming company in an email to customers.

The Golden Nugget casino empire is controlled by Fertitta Entertainment, Inc. (FEI). Currently, there are two Golden Nugget gaming venues in Nevada, one in downtown Las Vegas and another in Laughlin. That number will soon grow to three due to FEI’s recently announced acquisition of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe.

Other Golden Nugget properties are located in Atlantic City, NJ, Lake Charles, La., and Biloxi, Miss. A recently acquired casino hotel in Cripple Creek, Colo., will likely be transitioned to Golden Nugget branding, and the operator recently broke ground on a new venue in Illinois.

Decision Could Stoke DraftKings Speculation

To be clear, neither company has commented to this effect, but Golden Nugget’s decision to scrap its Nevada mobile betting app could stoke speculation that DraftKings will be the replacement.

In August 2021, DraftKings acquired Fertitta’s Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG) for $1.56 billion in stock. The buyer gained some market access and branding rights as part of that deal.

“Preferred market access rates through existing Golden Nugget casinos. Retail sportsbooks at current and future Golden Nugget casinos to be rebranded as DraftKings,” according to a DraftKings presentation issued at the time.

Although it recently announced the opening a massive office in Southwest Las Vegas, which will be its second-largest US space after its Boston headquarters, DraftKings isn’t yet licensed to accept bets in Nevada.

Antiquated Nevada Laws Could Be Behind Golden Nugget Decision

When combining casino gaming and sports wagering, Nevada is the gaming mecca of the US. And, while the state permits mobile sports wagering, the process for bettors to participate in that form of wagering is onerous.

The state doesn’t permit online signups, meaning bettors must go to land-based casinos to open mobile sports betting accounts. There’s paperwork involved, and deposits must be made in cash, making for a burdensome and not customer-friendly process.

Golden Nugget didn’t say these issues were the reason behind its closing its Nevada mobile app.

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