Tioga Downs Teams up with Golden Nugget Online Gaming for NY Operations

Even though online gambling is not legal in the state of New York, it has not stopped gaming companies from setting up partnerships in anticipation. This week, it was announced that Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG) signed a deal with Tioga Downs Race Track to launch online gambling services. The two will work together on an iGaming project once legislation is passed and regulatory approval is given.

Prepping for iGaming

The market access agreement between the two companies is a 20-year deal. GNOG would use the Tioga Downs gaming license in the state to offer a new online casino site. For operating the site, GNOG will pay Tioga Downs a percentage from its net gaming earnings. The percentage provided would be subject to minimum royalty payments set as part of the deal.

Thomas Winter, the president of GNOG, commented on the deal, stating that the state of New York is key to the company’s growth strategy. They look forward to seeing the state embracing online gaming.

Jeffery Gural, the owner of Tioga Downs, commented as well, stating that GNOG is an experienced company that has a proven track record as an operator in New Jersey. That experience will come in handy if online gambling can be legalized in New York State.

Tioga Downs also has a partnership with FanDuel to offer online gambling services. For the operator to work with multiple partners, the state would need to legalize multiple skins for each license holder.

No Legislation on the Table Yet

Right now, there is no legislation on the table that would legalize online casinos for New York. The licensing process can take some time and who knows if legislators will be willing to move ahead with the option.

In the past, it took forever for mobile sports betting to come into play due to Governor Andrew Cuomo being strongly opposed to the online option. However, he changed his tune a few months ago, seemingly having a better understanding as to how the state can benefit from mobile wagering.

For GNOG, the partnership with Tioga Downs marks the 9th state where the company has market access. They currently operate in New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Nevada. The company also has deals in Louisiana, and Mississippi.

While it still could be quite sometime before GNOG is operational in New York State, they are pushing ahead with the deal to secure market access. It would not be surprising to see the company sign similar deals in other states.

After the COVID-19 crisis began last year, lawmakers began to realize the benefit of iGaming. In states like New Jersey, when land-based casinos shut down due to COVID, the online sites could continue to offer services. This element has many states reviewing legislation this year and considering how they can implement online gaming to bring in new and steady revenues.

It will be interesting to see if iGaming makes any headway in New York after this announcement. Perhaps it will get the ball rolling for new legislation.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.