Just a short time after announcing their entrance into West Virginia, Illinois online gambling and sports betting look possible thanks to Golden Nugget Online Gaming. The company has secured a relationship with Wilmot Gaming for a deal that lends optimism for the future of online regulated internet betting in the state.
Crucially, the new property gives Golden Nugget Online Gaming the exclusive right to offer online sports wagering on its license, as well as other forms of online gambling, should they be legalized. The access deal will last for a minimum of 20 years and requires Golden Nugget to pay the joint venture a percentage of its online net gaming revenue.
“We are thrilled to gain market access in Illinois, the 5th most populous US state and the largest to have regulated mobile wagering to date,” said Thomas Winter, president of Golden Nugget Online Gaming. “This is a tremendous opportunity for us to further increase our US footprint and deliver on our ambitious growth plans. We look forward to bringing our award-winning online offerings to the Prairie State.”
The state has tried and failed twice before to pass online casino laws. But now there is quite probably enough political will to get a bill through. Rush Street Interactive is very influential in the state — Rush Street Gaming runs the Rivers Casino outside of Chicago — and has also enjoyed major success with online casino in other states.
What’s interesting about the Illinois online gambling deal is that sports betting isn’t big business for Golden Nugget Online Gaming. Their license is the highest earning of all online casinos in New Jersey. But at the same time, it’s among the smallest New Jersey sports book operators. But that’s by design. Golden Nugget’s brand has high visibility in the retail casino space, and the casino users are worth much more than sports bettors.