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Golden Nugget could take NBA bets under new NJ bill


A new bill filed by New Jersey Assemblymembers Raj Mukherij and John Burzichelli could lift a prohibition on casinos that share owners with sports teams from accepting bets on leagues involving the franchise. 

A5463, which was introduced on Monday (June 17), would remove direct or indirect owners of a sports team from the list of individuals prohibited from placing bets on a sport.

Currently this prohibition only affects Golden Nugget, the state’s igaming market leader. Tilman Fertitta, who serves as chairman, chief executive and sole owner of the venue’s parent company Landry’s, also owns National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise the Houston Rockets. 

Under the state’s sports betting legislation, which passed into law following the Supreme Court’s repeal of the Professional and Amateur Spots Protection Act last year, Golden Nugget has been unable to offer odds on NBA matches. 

This also applies to all skins that operate under its sports betting licence, currently only Churchill Downs’ BetAmerica brand.

Specifically, the prohibition would be removed provided an individual has a direct or indirect ownership interest of less than 10% in a casino or racetrack. Alternatively, the shares of the person must be registered according to Section 12 of the US Securities Exchange Act, and the value of their stake in the sports team must represent less than 1% of the individual’s total enterprise value.

However, any casino that shares an owner with a sports team would still be prohibited from accepting odds on games involving the team. This would mean Golden Nugget and its sub-licensees would not be able to offer odds on Houston Rockets games, as is already the case in Nevada. 

Golden Nugget, which accounted for 36.7% – or $14.1m – of New Jersey’s $38.3m igaming revenue in May, generated just $29,731 in sports betting revenue for the month. Since the market opened in June 2018, it has generated revenue of $162,838, the lowest total of the state’s 11 licensed sports betting operators.