Golden Nugget Says It’s Coming To Illinois This Year, But Is That Realistic?

Written By Joe Boozell on May 18, 2021
golden nugget illinois pipe dream

Golden Nugget president Thomas Wintersaid during an earnings call this week that the gaming company plans to launch “online sports in Illinois” in the fourth quarter of 2021.

We’ve known Golden Nugget is interested in the Illinois market ever since it inked a market access deal with Danville Development. If and when the Danville casino is built, it will have the necessary branding.

But while bettors would love another sports betting app in Illinois, some key factors are working against Winter’s preferred launch timeline.

Let’s get into them, Let & rsquo.

No admittance to the Illinois sports betting industry

The potential Danville casino should finally allow Golden Nugget access to the sports betting market. & nbsp, However, the Danville project has not received approval from the Illinois Gaming Board( IGB ).

Golden Nugget and Danville sent in their application materials in November 2020, but the IGB still hasn’t handed out any licenses to applicants who applied back in October 2019.

In other words, the IGB’s approval of the Danville blackjack might take some time. And that & rsquo, doesn’t even take construction time into account.

Hence, it is unclear how Golden Nugget intends to quickly secure market entry.

Unless & hellip,

Does Golden Nugget cover the cost of a mobile-only permit?

Is it possible that Golden Nugget will pay the$ 20 million required for a license that only applies to mobile devices? In December, the implementation process for those certificates may begin.

If that’s the case, the IGB likely won’t hand out any licenses until 2022, based on the language in the law. December is only when the application process begins.

Unless a new market access deal is in the works, it currently appears to be Golden Nugget & rsquo’s quickest entry into the market.

If Golden Nugget pays for the mobile-only license, that’s great news for the rest of the Illinois sports betting operators, by the way. The mobile-only license will trigger the removal of in-person registration for everyone.

Illinois’ Golden Nugget Sportsbook is a very, very long way away.

As of now, Golden Nugget Sportsbookhas yet to apply for a sports betting license in Illinois.

There are currently two pending Illinois applicants: BetMGM and Unibet. BetMGM applied in September, while Unibet applied in November.

Since then, we haven’t heard anything from the IGB regarding their program status. Therefore, the controller is in for a rude awakening if Golden Nugget anticipates the IGB to act quickly.

However, based on Winter & rsquo’s upbeat timeline, one of two scenarios would make sense.

Golden Nugget is either planning to seize a mobile-only registration once it becomes available or has another market access deal coming up. It’s probable the latter if we don’t hear anything new about the former in the upcoming months.

Play Illinois made an effort to get in touch with a Golden Nugget member for comment.

It is currently a pipe dream to have access to the sports betting industry through the fictitious Danville casino by the end of 2021. Lack of familiarity with the Illinois landscape is the third( and most unfavorable ) scenario.

Mayor & lsquo, fervently praying for game development in Danville

Danville Mayor Rickey Williams Jr.said earlier this month that he’s “praying and keeping (his) fingers crossed” that the city will have more information about its casino in July.

There will be IGB meetings on June 9 and July 14. Those meetings are where the board typically gives casino updates.

As previously mentioned, news has been sparse over the last two years. The IGB found Hard Rock Casino Rockfordpreliminarily suitable” for a license in February but has yet to officially hand out a license stemming from its 2019 Illinois gaming expansion.

In fact, several applicants who applied well before Danville still haven’t received a ruling. That’s why it’s hard to imagine learning about game development in Danville from the IGB any time soon.

Wayne Parry / AP image
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Boozell, Joe

Boozell, Joe has also been a college sports writer for since 2015. His work has also appeared in Bleacher Report, and Growing up, Boozell squared off against both Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicagoland basketball scene … you can imagine how that went.

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