Better late than never. After missing the entirety of the NFL season, and a good chunk of the college hoops schedule, Golden Nugget Casino has finally gone live with an online sportsbook.
The sports betting platform is provided by SBTech, and is integrated into Golden Nugget’s existing online casino operation. SBTech also supplies the sports wagering platform for Resorts online sportsbook and BetAmerica, both of which are also relatively new additions to the ever-expanding market.
To celebrate the launch, Golden Nugget is offering all new players a $50 refund on their first qualifying wager.
Advantages and disadvantages
If there is ever a brand that could put a dent in the FanDuel / DraftKings online sports betting duopoly in New Jersey, it’s Golden Nugget. The operator’s online casino accounts for one-third of the Golden Nugget AC license (the other two partners being Betfair Casino and Play SugarHouse), which in January reaped an eye-watering $12.1 million, good for roughly a 36% share of the market.
Although the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement only provides revenue statistics by license and not operator, we can safely presume that Golden Nugget Casino accounts for a giant chunk of the license’s revenue. It’s likely that many of its existing customers will crossover to the sportsbook, especially given how easy it is to make the transition, as Golden Nugget Sportsbook is both fully integrated into the online casino platform and shares a wallet with the same.
Admittedly, sportsbook integration is nothing new in the NJ online gambling market, having already been utilized by the likes of Caesars, Play SugarHouse, and others. However, Golden Nugget’s already massive player base could potentially amplify any crossover impact.
There is one big hurdle Golden Nugget will have to face, and that’s the lack of NBA betting. Golden Nugget is forbidden from offering wagers of any sort on NBA, due to the fact that Golden Nugget owner Tilman Fertitta also owns the Houston Rockets. Per state regulations, anyone with a stake in a sports franchise cannot accept wagers for that sport. Unfortunately, basketball currently accounts for a huge chunk of industry handle, with completed events handle for January clocking in at $135.6 million (36% of total completed events handle), and that doesn’t include parlay wagers involving basketball. Now, we’re uncertain how much of that figure was generated by college hoops, but either way, the loss of NBA wagering is a big blow to Golden Nugget’s sports betting prospects.
In fact, NBA was so important to partner Play SugarHouse that it switched its sports betting license from Golden Nugget to Monmouth Park right before the NBA season got underway.
Golden Nugget Sportsbook is available on Android, iOS, and desktop platforms.
Golden Nugget Sportsbook perks
A brief assessment of Golden Nugget Sportsbook reveals that the site means business. The lines are decent relative to the market, although they do trail noticeably behind the industry’s best. Golden Nugget does, however, offer a plethora of betting markets and wagers, including Oscars betting, encapsulated in a clean and highly functional user interface. As time rolls on, we expect even more bets to become available.
Live betting has already been integrated into the platform, and Golden Nugget has rolled out a few nuances, including Golden Lines, which are essentially odds boosts on pre-determined wagers, and Parlay Boosts, which pay between 3 – 20% more on hand-picked parlays, dependent on the number of legs.
It’s nothing earthshattering, but does position Golden Nugget well against its many competitors.
The sports betting welcome package for new players is tepid, especially compared to the likes of FanDuel and newcomer PointsBet. But on the flip side, Golden Nugget Casino does offer a 100% match up to $1,000 to new casino players, with a reasonable playthrough requirement, as well as a host of other casino promotions.
Will this all be enough for Golden Nugget to vault into the industry’s top three? It’ll be tough without NBA betting, but Golden Nugget has so much going for it, we don’t foresee it being lost in the shuffle.
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